Movie Boosts Traffic to 'Into the Wild' Shrine

In an All Things Considered story last month about the new film version of the book Into the Wild, its author, Jon Krakauer, expressed concerns about the movie's impact on the bus where the real-life Christopher McCandless lived for four months in the summer of 1992.

The bus, just outside of Denali National Park in Alaska, has become a makeshift shrine to the young traveler who lost his life there.

Now, a part of the bus has been auctioned off on eBay.

Film Captures Young Man's Journey 'Into the Wild'

Emile Hirsch portrays Chris McCandless in director Sean Penn's new movie 'Into the Wild. ' i i

Emile Hirsch portrays Chris McCandless in director Sean Penn's new movie Into the Wild, based on the best-selling book by Jon Krakauer. Francois Duhamel/Paramount Vantage hide caption

itoggle caption Francois Duhamel/Paramount Vantage
Emile Hirsch portrays Chris McCandless in director Sean Penn's new movie 'Into the Wild. '

Emile Hirsch portrays Chris McCandless in director Sean Penn's new movie Into the Wild, based on the best-selling book by Jon Krakauer.

Francois Duhamel/Paramount Vantage
Jon Krakauer, author of 'Into the Wild' i i

When he was 23, Krakauer set out on his own adventure in Alaska and says he has always identified with McCandless, who died alone in the Alaskan wilderness. Linda Moore hide caption

itoggle caption Linda Moore
Jon Krakauer, author of 'Into the Wild'

When he was 23, Krakauer set out on his own adventure in Alaska and says he has always identified with McCandless, who died alone in the Alaskan wilderness.

Linda Moore

After more than 10 years, the best-selling book Into the Wild is coming to the big screen.

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, tells the true story of Chris McCandless, a young man who cut all ties with his family after graduating from college and went to live off the land in the Alaskan wilderness.

In 1992, McCandless spent nearly four months living in the woods near Denali National Park in an abandoned bus, where his dead body was ultimately found. He was 24.

Krakauer wrote Into the Wild with the cooperation of the McCandless family. And when director Sean Penn called to ask about the movie rights, Krakauer told him the family would have to agree.

"They're courageous people, the family, and they thought, 'No, we're OK with it, as long as it's true, we'll be fine,'" Krakauer tells Melissa Block.

Although anger at his parents is part of McCandless' motivation, Krakauer emphasizes that he wasn't necessarily running away from his family, but rather, to adventure.

"He was an intense kid. He didn't see the world in gray at all, everything was black and white, right or wrong, and he was a young man who wanted to test himself," Krakauer says. "That's not uncommon. What is uncommon is the degree to which he needed to test himself."

In 1977, when he was 23, Krakauer himself set out on his own adventure: to solo climb Alaska's Devil's Thumb. He says he always identified with McCandless.

"Most biographers at least pretend to be objective and unbiased, and I never pretended that," Krakauer says.

"When you're that age, you think you're immortal, and Chris certainly thought that," he says. "You think you're invincible."

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