Movie Debut of "A Walk in the Woods" Starring Robert Redford

Robert Redford & Nick Nolte star in the film version of Bill Bryson's book, "A Walk in the Woods."

Robert Redford & Nick Nolte star in the film version of Bill Bryson's book, "A Walk in the Woods."

A movie starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte based upon the popular Appalachian Trail book A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson will have its debut on January 23, 2015 at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

The movie will be released to the public in Belgium on August 19 and in the Netherlands on August 20, 2015; perhaps because the film is being distributed by Dutch FilmWorks, which is based in the Netherlands. Dates for release in the United States have not been confirmed.

Redford says he first read A Walk in the Woods when he and his wife Sibylle (pronounced: "sibylle") went on vacation. He grabbed a copy from a bunch of books on his desk ... because it had a bear on the cover. He later said, "I don't remember laughing out loud as much as I did when I read that book."

Sharon MamaGoose Smith came SO close to getting a shot of Robert Redford & Nick Nolte filming "A Walk in the Woods," but they were out walking in the woods. ~~ Photograph from Sharon MamaGoose Smith's Facebook page.  Used by permission.

Sharon MamaGoose Smith came SO close to getting a shot of Robert Redford & Nick Nolte filming "A Walk in the Woods," but they were out walking in the woods. ~~ Photograph from Sharon MamaGoose Smith's Facebook page. Used by permission.

The movie has been a long time coming. Back in 2005, Redford said he hoped to have Paul Newman play the part of his companion - a fictitious compilation of hikers - Stephen Katz. Alas, Newman died in 2008.

In a recent interview with Sean Means from The Salt Lake Tribune, Redford said, "Then I thought of Nick Nolte. I have always felt he was a good actor -- he may have an undisciplined side to him, in his normal life. However, when you just got down to the work he did, I thought, 'This guy's a good actor. He's smart. He might seem a little crazy.' But there's something there."

As you might know, Bryson's 1998 classic of life on and along the Appalachian Trail is funny and offers an unusual perspective of the southern portion of the Trail. It is fair to say that not many other authors have used the phrase, "waddlesome sloth," among other pithy nuggets.

Although Bryson's shots at life and country folk in the South were not always received as humorous by my southern brethren, the concept of two old friends who meet up to hike the (now) 2,189.2 mile Appalachian Trail - out of shape and clueless - is pretty funny.

Bryson and "Stephen Katz" didn't thru-hike from Georgia to Maine in real life. We'll have to see what liberties were taken in the movie.

Our friends at Mountain Crossings Outfitters at Neel Gap shared this picture of a scene from A Walk in the Woods that was filmed there.

Our friends at Mountain Crossings Outfitters at Neel Gap shared this picture of a scene from A Walk in the Woods that was filmed there.

According to a review on the Sundance Film Festival's website, "As the two face off with each other and an eccentric assortment of characters, the grand trail proves to be an epic journey. Emma Thompson brilliantly counterbalances their antics as the patient companion, wise enough to let them go on this ill-conceived journey."

Scenes in A Walk in the Woods with the actress Mary Steenburgen playing the role of a woman who runs a hostel might impugn the integrity of our friends who assist hikers in real life, but this is a movie and far from the true Trail.

Pfft. Anybody can get a picture of themselves with Robert Redford. Here's a shot of Sharon MamaGoose Smith with Redford's movie stand-in! ~~ Photograph courtesy of Sharon MamaGoose Smith

Pfft. Anybody can get a picture of themselves with Robert Redford. Here's a shot of Sharon MamaGoose Smith with Redford's movie stand-in! ~~ Photograph courtesy of Sharon MamaGoose Smith

Bryson captured what it was like to hike with "Katz" - who could barely carry his own weight without the burden of excess emotional or physical baggage. We all have a lesson or two to learn from Katz.

We expect Robert Redford will portray Bill Bryson and Nick Nolte will capture the essence of Katz with humor and passion.

A few scenes from A Walk in the Woods were filmed in Georgia's Amicalola Falls State Park on the Approach Trail and used extras who were part of the 2014 Warrior Hike on the Appalachian Trail.

Sharon MamaGoose Smith says Redford and Nolte were fun, funny and friendly. Anyone who is nice to MamaGoose is a friend of ours.

We'll keep you posted as we hear more about the film A Walk in the Woods with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.

Click Here for A Walk in the Woods at the Sundance Film Festival

Click Here to Buy the Book A Walk in the Woods

About the Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival brings the most original storytellers together with the most adventurous audiences for its annual program of dramatic and documentary films, shorts, New Frontier films, installations, performances, panel discussions, and dynamic music events.

Since 1985, hundreds of films launched at the Festival have gained critical recognition, received commercial distribution, and reached worldwide audiences eager for fresh perspectives and new voices. Year after year, the Festival pursues new ways to introduce more people to the most original and authentic storytelling.


Tags: Attractions, Appalachian Trail, News, Movies, Entertainment, and Robert Sutherland Travel Writer

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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