ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

Two days ago I wandered into a second-hand book store and grabbed myself a copy of Bill Bryson's A Walk In The Woods on a whim. Since then I have basically done nothing but work my way through its brilliantly crafted pages — even in situations when reading is difficult, and indeed, completely inadvisable (it turns out drivers don't like it when you nonchalantly wander into the road while staring into a book).

Anyway, the point I'm taking so long to get to is that A Walk in the Woods is an excellent book, and now the film adaptation has just grabbed an excellent director: .

A Walk in the Woods is the best seller by Bill Bryson which charts the journey of two old (and estranged 'friends') who reunite to attempt to hike all 2,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Although an accurate account of Bryson's own journey, the book is, at its heart, a comedy — and a good one. Rarely have I laughed so much at text on a page.

For this reason, Larry Charles might seem like an ideal choice. On the big screen he's directed such comedy hits as Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Brüno and Religulous, although personally I think it's his work on HBO's sublime Curb Your Enthusiasm which makes him stand out. A Walk in the Woods will see Charles direct cinematic legends and against a script penned by Toy Story 3 scribe, .

Charles had this to say regarding his selection:

Growing up in the wilds of Brooklyn, you can see why I was the natural choice to direct A Walk In The Woods. I didn't see a tree till I was 27. I've pitched a lot of projects, but I've never pitched a tent. But A Walk In The Woods is not merely about a hike. It is an epic, intense, absurd journey through our collective past, present and future. A journey outward and inward. A journey into darkness but also into the light. And I am honored and humbled to take that walk with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. Two true bonafide icons of American cinema. Does anyone have bug spray?

As you can probably tell, I'm pretty excited about this news. However, I must admit, it is not without a small amount of reservation. Many of Charles' major movie successes utilized a documentary (or mock-umentary) format, while his latest narrative piece, The Dictator, was rather poorly received. Here's hoping he can translate some of his excellence on the small screen to A Walk in the Woods' big screen rendition.

A Walk in the Woods has already seemingly exhausted several directors, with Richard Linklater being the most recent auteur to abandon the project. Here's hoping Charles can finally bring this epic tale to fruition.

What do you think? Is he right man for the job? Let us know what you think below.


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