Bill Bryson knows a lot about writing books, a bit less about producing movies. Last night he commented on the movie adaptation of his best-selling book, A Walk in the Woods, during a book reading event in Frederick, MD.
In answering a question about the movie, Bill Bryson was quick to point out two things – 1) he “liked the movie very much,” and 2) he had nothing to do with it.
Bryson sold the movie rights of his book to Robert Redford. The world waited for the movie as the idea sat for years. In 2014, Robert Redford began filming the movie. Bryson indicated he had little to do with the movie production after he sold the rights. He made it clear that he trusted Robert Redford.
Bryson first saw the movie at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015. He sat between Robert Redford and his wife (i.e., Mrs. Bryson). He reports that he and his wife were looking forward to seeing the movie, and hoped that they would be accurately portrayed.
Bill Bryson told last night’s audience that it took a while to get used to Robert Redford answering for him on screen. Bryson seemed very pleased with the choice of Robert Redford to play him in the movie.
Bryson shared that the only uncomfortable time during the movie screening was when his character (Robert Redford) and an innkeeper (Mary Steenburgen) began to flirt. The Brysons were afraid the flirting might lead to something less innocent. The movie quickly moved on without either character engaging further. Bill Bryson leaned over to his wife during the Sundance screening and said, “That didn’t happen!” He has told his audiences since the movie’s release, “That didn’t happen!” He told last night’s audience in Frederick, “That didn’t happen!”
If not Redford and Nick Nolte playing Bryson and Katz in the movie, who? I would have liked to have seen Jack Black attempt to play a Katz. Who would you have casted for Bryson and Katz?