It’s part of the trilogy he’s doing about his family, these kind of poetic memoirs. But it’s interesting because it’s about being on the set of Being Flynn, which is based on Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. Are you going to be on the set for your film?
First of all, let me say that the whole experience has been meta. You know, I took the hike [that’s the basis for Wild] and I never would have guessed that that hike would come to be known by so many people. And then I spent the last year and half talking about the book and the experience to the point where — in brain science they say that every time you remember something, your memory of that experience alters slightly. I have now talked about this story so many times, how does my relationship to the story itself, how is that altered by all of this conversation about it and all of this writing about it?
I was in the UK last month, and Nick Hornby is writing the script for the film, and I met him for the first time. He was just finishing literally the last page of this screenplay. I didn’t say to him, “Hand over the script I want to read it.” I actually felt like I don’t want to see it, I’m nervous about seeing it.
I didn’t want to be in on the first draft round because I felt like it’s too fragile for me until they’ve decided what they’re going to do with my story, I don’t want to intervene or involve myself in it.
But I think that any piece of art — like the only way that I could ever write a Sugar column, or anything I’ve ever written, is to fully inhabit the story, and work out of exactly what I want writing to do, which is to move people, and to connect with people, and to be, in some way, transcendent. So I think that’s what Reese is going to have to do, and, the director of the film is going to have to do, and what Nick has had to do with the script.
The first person I talked about it [the possibility of a film adaptation] with was Reese, and I could see that she understood the book, and so in allowing her to option it I was saying, “I’ll hand this off to you.” The book is mine, and nobody can change the book. That’s my work. And then the film will be hers. And it’s going to be different. She has to own it. If she tries to please me or mimic what is in the book I think that it won’t be successful. She has to own that story, and that’s probably going to be a little bit dislocating for me sometimes because of course I own the story too, it’s me.
In a way it seems like an act of love to give something away on that level and allow someone to find their own self in it. That seems really beautiful.