It’s been a rough stretch for Sean Penn, between his brother Chris dying in his low 40’s and people criticizing his Katrina efforts. The best cure for sorrow (outside of Haagen Daaz) is losing yourself in work.

According to Film Stew, Sean Penn will return to the director’s chair following a 5 year breather after The Pledge. His next project will be Paramount’s Into The Wild starring Emile Hirsch, also known as the guy who had his teenage fantasies actualized in The Girl Next Door.

Penn adapted the movie from Jon Krakauer’s bestselling book. Art Linson and Bill Pohlad (Brokeback Mountain are producing. In the film, Hirsch will play Christopher McCandless, who graduated from college in 1992, left his possessions behind, and hitchhiked to Alaska. While residing there, he decided to return to nature and live out in the wilderness. Four months later, he was found dead in an abandoned bus at a campsite.

If Into The Wild and Grizzly Man teach us anything, it’s the value of a warm bed and an underappreciated asset called safety. Don’t be fools, people: leave 'living in nature' to the beasts.

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