Both Cheryl Strayed’s memoir and its Oscar-nominated adaptation don’t gloss over the difficulties of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. From boots flying off to fractured toe nails, the experience itself isn’t much fun after exhaustion and blisters set in. However, fans of the film can literally step into the shoes of a PCT hiker for three minutes with Wild—The Experience.
The virtual reality experience is a separate project from the acclaimed film, though offers further insight into Reese Witherspoon’s portrayal of the young Strayed. With goggles and a headset, participants are thrust into the wild and listen to a voiceover by Witherspoon, who talks to her departed film-mother (Laura Dern). Dern then appears and speaks to Witherspoon before quickly disappearing, implying the emotional weight Witherspoon also carries.
The move comes from a partnership with Fox Searchlight, Samsung and Oculus, who believe that virtual reality is close to becoming a household reality. Segments like Wild—The Experience would supplement home releases.