Actor Sean Penn is heading to the wilds of Alaska to direct a biopic about real-life adventurer CHRISTOPHER McCANDLESS.

The Oscar winner, who previously directed Jack Nicholson in The Pledge, has cast LORDS OF DOGTOWN star Emile Hirsch as McCandless, who gave up his privileged life and possessions to live like a virtual hermit in snowbound Alaska.

Into The Wild is based on the best selling book by Jon Krakauer.