“Wild” certainly promises a smoother path to the gold for Witherspoon: based on the memoir by Cheryl Strayed, it follows a woman whose marriage has ended and whose mother has passed away as she hikes the Pacific Crest trail by herself. “Dallas Buyers Club” director Jean-Marc Vallée is helming from a screenplay by Nick Hornby, and awards pro Fox Searchlight has planned a December 5 release date.
Before then, though, Witherspoon will bow in “The Good Lie,” another based-on-true-events film about an American woman who helps four Sudanese refugees adapt to life in the U.S. after they win a lottery to be relocated from their war-torn country. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are producing, and several of the exec producers of “The Blind Side” are attached to the project. Philippe Falardeau, the Canadian writer/director whose film “Monsieur Lazhar” was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, is directing. “The Good Lie” will hit theaters on October 3.
Witherspoon won an Oscar for 2005’s “Walk the Line” but has kept a low profile in recent years–she played a supporting role in “Mud” and her only film from last year was under-the-radar “Devil’s Knot.” Perhaps this will be the year she brings a second Oscar home to keep her first one company.