determines the quality of a life? Longevity? Material wealth? Your cache of friends? Your legacy? What exactly do you have to or acquire to make your existence worthwhile? We’ve struggled with these questions for about as long as we’ve drawn breath, and I certainly don’t pretend to have “the” answer, if there is just one, anymore than the next man. Especially if the next man is Christopher McCandless.

McCandless was a star student with a lot of money and opportunity staring him in the face when he graduated Emory University in 1992. But he shocked everyone when he gave it away and took off for the Alaskan wilderness, burned all marks of his identity, and sought his own answers to the metaphysical questions facing us all. It was to be a short journey because he was found dead in the wild months later. His story was immortalized in Jon Krakauer’s 1997 novel Into the Wild (where the aforementioned death “spoiler” is clearly printed on the front cover, so don’t even start), now brought onscreen into a film directed by Sean Penn. But that’s just the tip. Here, he’s got a top notch cast including Speed Racer’s Emile Hirsch, William Hurt, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener, and Marcia Gay Harden. And the trailer has arrived via IGN.

It’s a nice piece that’s got at least a few moments with pretty much the entire cast, and Hirsch, in particular, seems to be running on all cylinders here as he just melts into the role. While I’ve always been interested in the story, I wasn’t sure if a film would work, even with Penn writing and directing. Now, it’s one of my more anticipated films for the fall. Check out the goods for yourself right here.