Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Jean-Marc Vallée, who helmed the upcoming Matthew McConaughey-starrer Dallas Buyers Club, has been set by Fox Searchlight to helm Wild. Reese Witherspoon already is set to star in the Nick Hornby-scripted adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir. Witherspoon and her Pacific Standard partner Bruna Papandrea are producing with River Road Entertainment’s Bill Pohlad. Vallee’s producing partner, Nathan Ross, will be exec producer.

Witherspoon will play Strayed, who in the book recounted how the twin tragedies of her marriage cratering and her mother dying plunged her into a long spiral of reckless and destructive behavior. At the end of her rope, she made a rash decision: With no experience, she hiked more than 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone. She experienced as much terror as pleasure in navigating the rough terrain but regained her mojo in the process. Searchlight execs Claudia Lewis and David Greenbaum are overseeing. Vallee is repped by Ross and attorney David Weber.

Related: Reese Witherspoon Set For Nick Hornby’s Book Adaptation ‘Wild’

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