Cheryl Strayed spent a summer hiking 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail – from Southern California to the southern border of Washington State. Now we will get to see Reese Witherspoon re-create Strayed’s journey this December when Wild, adapted from the hiker’s memoir of the same name, hits select theaters on Dec. 5.
Currently the Fox Searchlight release from director Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club) has the weekend all to itself, but that’s destined to change as the Oscar season calendar starts filling up.
The sure-to-be R-rated film tracks Strayed’s desperate solo journey to reclaim herself after her mother’s death and a debilitating drug-and-sex addiction leaves her lost and desperate.
The film’s success will hinge on Witherspoon’s gritty performance as Strayed, a role that veers drastically from the parts we are accustomed to her portraying but one that could mark a welcome change for the 38-year-old Oscar winner.
Wild’s director is already convinced of it. Said Vallee in EW’s 2014 preview: “We wanted to see Reese out there, not vain at all, not concerned with her image, and she went for it. Wait until you see her in the film. It’s a new Reese.”