Walk in the Woods Movie – What Do We Know?

Written by Steve Burge on 20th June 2014

Walk in the Woods Movie and BookIf ordinary people have read anything about the Appalachian Trail, it’s probably “Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson.

Walk in the Woods is a funny read, but also hugely informative.

The book tells the story of the author, Bill Bryson, trying to walk from Georgia to Maine.

Bryson’s story is funny, but he also tells the history of the A.T., the U.S. parks system and much more. It’s really a great book.

There have been rumors of a movie version of Walk in the Woods for years, but now it’s finally becoming reality.

So, what do we know about the Walk in the Woods movie?

Walk in the Woods is Robert Redford’s movie

robert redford walk in the woods

Robert Redford on set.
Image from Accessatlanta.com

One thing we know: this movie is only getting made because of Robert Redford.

Redford has had the movie rights in 2005 and persisted in trying to get it made for nearly a decade.

Redford himself will play the Bill Bryson role, although he’ll be nearly twice as old as Bryson was in the book.

Redford had originally wanted his friend Paul Newman to play the role of Katz, but Newman passed in 2008.

Walk in the Woods has a strong environmental theme and that may explain Redford’s interest in the book. We’ll see how much of those themes remain in the movie version.

Walk in the Woods: Other Stars

Nick Nolte on set. Image from AccessAtlanta.com.

Nick Nolte on set.
Image from AccessAtlanta.com.

Nick Nolte will be Katz. Redford had originally wanted Paul Newman

IMDB mentions two other famous actors, Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) and Emma Thompson (multiple Oscar winner), but doesn’t make it clear what roles they were given.

Mary Steenburgen is in the movie, but she plays a role that wasn’t in the book. She plays “an alluring motel proprietress named Jeannie who tempts Bryson (Redford) when he and Katz (Nolte) stop into her establishment for the night”. (link)

Walk in the Woods: Directors

Redford ran through a large of scripts and many different directors.

Directors linked with the project included everyone from Chris Columbus (Harry Potter) and Barry Levinson (Rain Man) to Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise) and Larry Charles (Borat).

Finally, Redford settled Ken Kwapis who’s mainly been a TV director until now.

Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine) wrote the script.

Walk in the Woods: Filming Locations

Walk In The Woods Filming

Thanks to Reddit user “FIRExNECK” for this photo.

The movie seems to have been mostly, if not exclusively filmed in Georgia.

In April they were filming at Amicalola Falls State Park, which is the southern end of the A.T. Robert Redford and Nick Nolte were filming on site at The Lodge at Amicalola Falls.

At least one major scene was filmed in Kennesaw, GA. The film shoot hired a number of Civil War re-enactors for a work at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park today (link)

The Appalachian Trail group at Reddit.com posted pictures of filming at Neels Gap, GA in June.

Filming seems to have wrapped up in the first week of June.

Walk in the Woods: Release Date

IMDB has a release date of the end of 2015.

However, with filming wrapped, it’s logical to assume an earlier release. Wikipedia says December 2014 and that would be a logical guess.

December is not the best time to inspire hikers to set out on the A.T., but 16 years after publication of the book, we’re still very excited to see this movie!

What do you think about "Walk in the Woods Movie – What Do We Know?"? Let us know ...

  • ocarol500

    So, they’ll skip the part where Bryson shows blatant disrespect to the elderly Mrs Mull (of Mull’s Motel in Hiawassee, GA) by making fun of her infirmities? Or how he describes Georgia natives? And add a sexual component to get a PG-13 rating and titillate the children. Or did Mull’s Motel refuse to be part of the movie? Maybe they couldn’t locate a ‘good old boy’ offering transportation to Hiawassee from Dick’s Creek Gap to fit the uncouth description in the book. I find it amusing that the environment loving group thinks so highly of a man who littered the Appalachian Trail by tossing gear out of his backpack to ‘lighten his load’ and left the Trail strewn with his cast-offs for us Maintainers to pick up and carry out. Bill Bryson’s book was an exercise in Southern Phobia. Had I been home, I’d have protested the filming. He owes the Mulls and Southerners a written apology sent to every small town newspaper in North Georgia.

    • Hoosier62

      I read the book. Some of it was good, some of it was classic snobbery on Bryson’s part. What would you expect from someone like him though?

      • Babs Des Marteau

        Yeah, Katz throwing coffee filters to the wind disgusted me.

        • Hoosier62

          Not exactly a Leave No Trace attitude to be sure.