Sean Penn's Latest Passion
The film, which he wrote and directed, is an adaptation of Jon Krakauer's critically acclaimed book of the same name. The book spent more than two years on The New York Times best-seller list.
Into the Wild tells the tragic real-life story of Chris McCandless, a college grad from a wealthy family who set out to experience true adventure. In 1990, Chris donated his life savings to charity, abandoned his belongings and dropped out of sight. He changed his name to Alexander Supertramp, and for the next two years he backpacked through the United States, Mexico and Canada.
Along the way, he encountered people who were moved by his idealism…but Chris took his final journey alone. He ventured into the Alaskan wilderness, carrying very few supplies. For nearly four months, Chris called an abandoned bus his home and lived off of the land. Sadly, a series of catastrophic mistakes altered the course of his life—113 days after his Alaskan adventure began, Chris starved to death.
Sean says the day he bought Into the Wild, he read it cover to cover twice. "What Jon Krakauer did in retracing the steps of Chris McCandless made such an indelible impression on me," he says. "There was something about this kind of relentless pursuit of authenticity [that was moving]. … There was some great courage in it that never let go of me."