an individualistic adventurer who needed isolation and healing in na-
ture. In an interview describing the process of directing and writing the
film, Penn felt drawn to the journey that Chris McCandless placed upon
himself, despite his tragic end—“Chris McCandless lived too short,
that's true, but he, in my view, put an entire life from birth to the wis-
dom of age into those years” (qtd. in Grossman para. 15).

His story and idealism had a strong effect on nearly everyone in-
volved with the film. In an interview, Emile Hirsch, who played Chris
McCandless, described the experience of filming as unique—"I think
the underlying theme about love and forgiveness and spirituality over-
whelmed any type of negativity that can sometimes go onto a film set,
and we really felt like we were making something special. That it would
mean something to people. Because it meant something to us" (qtd. in
Riley para 14).

Into the Wild was divided into chapters, the same as the book and
followed the same flashbacks of Chris’s experience alone in the Alas-
kan wilderness. The book and movie also complemented each other as
the director ensured the inclusion of the perspectives of Chris’s family,
friends and acquaintances while empathizing with the viewpoint of the
main character. Lines of dialogue were used from interviews and
Chris’s journals and letters and most of the scenes from the film were
shot on location where McCandless had traveled. The movie also
shared the final shot of the film with the last description from the book.

John Krakauer described leaving the abandoned bus where Chris
McCandless had died, from a helicopter. In the film, one of the final
shots leaves Chris McCandless’s smiling face and flies out of a window
and up into the sky, paralleling the book and symbolizing the departure
of his soul from his body.

The personality of Chris McCandless in the film was a bit different
from the book, where there was emphasis on his anger and abrasiveness
in reacting rebelliously to his parent’s admonitions that got in his way.

Into the Wild shows Chris as more relaxed and happy when he is on the
road and interacting with people he met in his travels, such as fellow
nomads and farmers. In the film he is shown as uncomfortable and an-
noyed when forced to sit at an awkward family dinner. In scenes where
he is backpacking on his own, he gets to climb trees, paddle down riv-
ers, walk deserted paths, scramble down hillsides, and when he runs