If 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
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 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
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!