Coin: Outside financing for the Paramount Vantage release came from River Road Entertainment. Deal included some foreign territories to be sold by Focus Features.
Buzz: Sean Penn — who worked for more than a decade to put Jon Krakauer’s 1995 adventure biography on the screen — is gunning for both helmer and adapted screenplay noms. Lead Emile Hirsch’s convincing portrayal of starving adventurer Christopher McCandless has an outside shot for actor, though it’s a packed category this year. Hal Holbrook, as McCandless’ would-be adopted dad, could get a supporting berth. Among other strong points are Eddie Vedder’s original songs.
Kudos: Won Gotham Award for feature. Penn will be fetted with director-of-the-year honors at Palm Springs next month, while star Hirsch will receive the Rising Star Award.