Most people know John Krakauer as the author of “Into Thin Air,” the book he wrote about the ill-fated Everest expedition (I had a chance to meet Krakauer in person at a book signing in northern New Jersey after “Into Thin Air” was published). I’ve made it a point to read just about anything he writes…he writes in a seasoned journalistic style and really brings you into the story.
One of the most haunting stories he covered was captured in his book “Into the Wild.” Now, word comes out that Sean Penn is turning it into a feature film. Penn is to acting what Krakauer is to writing: an example of an artist consistently at the top of his game (Katrina humanitarian photo-ops aside).
I’ll go out on a limb and predict that Krakauer’s story, as interpreted and directed by Penn, will see its name on the Academy’s ballots next year. I can’t predict which categories it will be nominated for (and it may not even win), but I do believe that it is the type of story that could give Penn the material for one of his best works.