PARK CITY With the Sundance Film Festival concluded, Robert Redford is going for "A Walk in the Woods."
Redford told The Associated Press that his next film project is an adaptation of the best-selling 1998 Bill Bryson book about hiking the Appalachian Trail. He will produce the film and star as Bryson, and Barry Levinson is expected to direct it.
"It'll be fun. I don't know when I've read a book that I laughed so loud," Redford said. "Also it's a chance to take a look at the country...The backdrop is pretty terrific, if you stop to think of all the visuals that are possible as they go along that trail."
After that, Redford said he'll tackle the "inside, down-to-the mats story" of how Branch Rickey helped Jackie Robinson break into major league baseball in 1947.
"What Rickey had to do, what Robinson had to go through, and the partnership they had to form, that's a story nobody knows," Redford said. "It's just a fascinating story."
Redford, who spoke to AP on Friday by phone from California, said he was only able to see a handful of films during the festival, including "U2 3D," "In Bruges" and "What Just Happened?" which was directed by Levinson.
Redford noted that there were more new filmmakers at the festival this year than ever before, and praised the "crossover" movies that have grown in prominence here: "You're seeing music in film, you're seeing poetry in film, you're seeing animation."
And he reiterated concern that the festival is being judged not by its films but by peripheral activities.
"Once those various tiers started to form around our core mission which was just the filmmakers and the new work, focusing on that and the ambush marketers came in and started to pay large prices to rent out places on Main Street to promote their product, and outside of that, you had homes in Deer Valley or in Park City rented out by other brands, whether it's clothing brand or a perfume brand or something like that just to have parties just to bring in celebrities to get photographed, the concern was that the focus is on that rather than what we were about.
"I don't have any problem with a large part of this. It's just once some of the media began to focus on the other part, and then judge us by that, then that got frustrating."