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'Borat' Director Taking Redford & Nolte on Comedic 'Walk in the Woods'

by
November 1, 2013

Robert Redford

Though writer Michael Arndt may not be scripting Star Wars: Episode VII anymore, that doesn't mean he doesn't still have work coming to the big screen. In fact, Deadline reports director Larry Charles will bring Arndt's script A Walk in the Woods to life, and Robert Redford and Nick Nolte are slated to star. Those names might make you think that Charles is looking to get into the dramatic game, but the film is actually a road trip comedy following Bryson, an aging travel writer an Iowa native who has been living in England for 20 years, as he aims to reconnect with America by hiking the 2,100 mile Appalachian Trail.

But his connection with the homeland isn't smooth as he learns some hard lessons about being a woodsman, falling into plenty of mishaps and problems, many hilarious conundrums. Along the way he encounters a group of terrible Boy Scouts and a seemingly always lost old man named Chicken John. Making things worse is Bryson's grumpy hiking partner Katz, a reformed substance abuser and high school friend who he's been avoiding for years. The film is based on Bill Bryson's comedic travel and nature centric book.

Redford was once slated to direct this himself, but the project is now in the hands of Charles, who describes the project as "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?” Charles is best known for his work with Sacha Baron Cohen on Borat, Bruno and The Dictator and also episodes of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." A comedy like this in his hands with Nolte and Redford sounds like a wild idea that could work out spectacularly. Sound good?

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  • TheOct8pus
    Great book, but can't see it becoming a film. The thing that makes the book great is the dry humor with which Bryson writes. Let's see what they do with this....
  • Ryan Friend
    Agreed. I was excited 7 years ago. Now I am actually terrified at how they are going to try to mainstream the hiking of the AT. I swear by the name of every god who is found to be holy by his or her followers, though, if they don't include the bit about Katz throwing the coffee filters and other things off the cliff, the bit where he smuggles a coke two days in just to jerk with bryson, or the Chick (what was her name) that was so annoying, I will be pissed. I will also be pissed if they don't throw out the environmental info about the trees dying. The Hemlocks are now dying out too, I recently read. Those things are really what made the book a hit.
  • Ryan Friend
    I think that you have to be a hiker to really appreciate the book. They will automatically fail if they don't long tail this movie for outdoorsy folks. If they try to go big and make it a blockbuster, we are going to see so much more litter on the trails. And, oh, the idiots. Those people who think that hiking is easy and some matches and a tent are all you need. WARNING: Thru Hiking the AT is not easy! It requires serious planning and gear. Lots of gear. Just not the kind that people usually bring.

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