It's been a project more than a decade in the making, and it looks like it's one step closer to becoming a reality -- and soon.

The mission to take the beloved Maine tale of how 12-year-old Donn Fendler survived 9 days alone in the Maine wilderness surrounding Katahdin to the big screen, is finally coming to fruition.

The book, "Lost On A Mountain In Maine", which Fendler wrote about his experience in 1939, has been on every elementary school kid's reading list for decades. If you grew up in this state, you likely read it at some point in the 4th or 5th grade.


The process to adapt the book into a movie for the big screen started in 2010 when a screenplay was written by Luke Paradise and director Andrew Kightlinger started filming the movie.

It was then picked up by Balboa Productions, the production company run by Sylvester Stallone.

The final piece of the puzzle is now in place, as the movie has been written, and filming on the project wrapped in August of 2022. "Lost On A Mountain In Maine" is now under contract to be distributed to theaters later this summer, according to a recent post on the movie's Facebook Page. 

Lost on a Mountain in Maine via Facebook
Lost on a Mountain in Maine via Facebook

"FINALLY! We're ecstatic to announce that you will all be able to see Donn Fendler's story on the big screen in 2024! …More details soon, but Lost on a Mountain in Maine the feature film will be a reality once and for all this summer. We can't thank Balboa Productions and Blue Fox Entertainment enough for making this dream come true." article, published earlier this month, says while there is no official release date, Management at Blue Fox Entertainment is very eager and excited to get this film to audiences.

"Blue Fox’s James Huntsman said: 'Consumers are hungry for high-quality family adventure films. Andrew, together with his stellar cast and the team at Balboa Productions have brought to the screen a beloved book that will thrill audiences around the world.' "

One of the film's producers, Dick Boyce added, “This is a 40-years-in-the-making passion project that captures the essence of my parents: family, hope, and grit.”

The Piscataquis Observer says that while the story is set in Maine, primarily around Katahdin, most of the movie was filmed in New York. But at least one of the stars of the movie has ties to Maine.

An autumn view of Mount Katahdin in Maine
James Griffiths Photography

"The film stars Camden native Caitlin Fitzgerald (“Succession,” “Masters of Sex,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7”) and Paul Sparks (“House of Cards,” “Boardwalk Empire”) as Fendler’s parents, and Luke David Blumm (“Where the Crawdads Sing,” “The King of Staten Island”) as Fendler. Rounding out the cast is Ethan Slater, soon to be seen in the movie adaptation of the musical “Wicked.”

Sadly, the man at the center of the story, Donn Fendler, will not get to see his story come to life on the screen. He passed away in 2016, at the age of 90.

We'll keep an eye out for an official release date, and let you know just as soon as that information is released.

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