Robert Redford & Nick Nolte To Take A WALK IN THE WOODS

Six years ago Robert Redford got the idea to acquire the rights to Bill Bryson's hilarious comedic travelogue A Walk in the Woods with the intention of making a kind of last hurrah reunion picture with his great friend Paul Newman. Having read the book, kind of a less serious Into The Wild with less death it's clear to see why as at the heart of it is a funny buddy road-trip between two very different old friends who are constantly at each others throats. Bryson€™s book is more like a non-fiction diary where the reader follows his journey on the Appalachian Trail, a 2,000 miles trek mostly in the wilderness between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine and is thought to be completed by less than 30% of the serious trekkers who attempt it. Redford would have played Bryson himself, a scholar and observationalist who can't believe how ridiculous his old friend is acting on the trail, or why he even thought in the first place it would be a good idea to attempt it. Newman would have played the friend Stephen Katz, an overweight and somewhat bumbling alcoholic who moans about how difficult the journey is (well... what did he expect?). Oscar winning Rain Man director and the guy who made The Natural with Redford, Barry Levinson would have helmed but it quickly became apparent that Newman's failing health just made it impossible. His great friend died in 2008 and I thought Redford's interest in the film had too. However maybe not. The L.A. Times reports that Redford has convinced Nick Nolte to take on the Stephen Katz part and A Walk in the Woods is still being developed. It won't quite have the emotional hook for audiences that a Redford/Newman reunion would have but in many ways Nolte is way more suited to the role and let's hope this isn't the last we hear of the project. Redford has been looking to get back into acting this year having completed his post-Lincoln assassination trial movie The Conspirator some months ago. He has not been seen on screen since 2007's Lions for Lambs.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.