We first reported on this project back in May 2009, when the studio acquired the rights to Norman Ollestad's memoir. The story centers on the writer's relationship with his father, who taught him several different skills from a very young age. The plot also focuses on how those traits saved his life, when he was stranded on a mountaintop after surviving a plane crash.
Will Fetters is adapting the screenplay, with Bill Gerber, Fonda Snyder, and Rob Weisbach producing. The studio was also looking at other filmmakers, including Alfonso Cuarón, although Sean Penn was always their top choice.