Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, was everywhere over the last year, from Oprah’s book club to the Oregon Book Awards. Now the movie version, starring Reese Witherspoon and directed by the unknown Jean-Marc Vallée (that is, until Dallas Buyer’s Club just came out), looks like it will be everywhere over the next year, culminating in its release next fall.
It’s at least setting the Twitterverse ablaze, thanks to Witherspoon’s tweets from the set—or rather, Southern Oregon’s stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail that was one leg of Strayed’s lonesome, grueling, but ultimately triumphant 1,000-mile journey. So far Reese and crew, with occasional appearance by Strayed, have been to Ashland, Crater Lake, trekked deep into the Oregon woods, and filmed in other unnamed places featuring moss, llamas and spotted green frogs. With dirt rubbed through her blonde hair, a white t-shirt showing yellow sweat stains and dried blood, and an old school navy backpack (known as “Monster” in the book), Witherspoon’s regular updates show her gleefully embracing the disheveled backpacker character beaten down by the hard trail—though one wonders how access to social media might have changed Strayed’s sojourn…
Meanwhile, local and national media are keeping their own eye on the filming, produced by Witherspoon and Bruna Papandreas’ Pacific Standard company. Mail Tribune, The Daily Tidings, KTVL, and KDRV caught the crew in Ashland. KTVL followed them to Crater Lake. And national and international pubs like The Daily Mail, Huffington Post, People Magazine, and Variety are keeping an eye on it too, while also announcing new casting hires: W. Earl Brown, Laura Dern, Gaby Hoffman, Michiel Huisman, and Kevin Rankin. Also, apparently Art Alexakis. Who knew.
You can follow Witherspoon and Strayed on Twitter at @RWitherspoon and @CherylStrayed.