Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez step out of the Charlie madness

Oct 7, 2011 at 10:14 p.m. ET

It has been a long time since Martin Sheen and his son Emilio Estevez have acted together. So it was bittersweet when Estevez wrote and directed his new film The Way and asked his father to star in it.

Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez

The new film The Way brings Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez together again for the first time since Emilio appeared on Sheen's The West Wing. The two previously worked together on the films The War at Home and Bobby.

The Way tells the story of Daniel (Estevez), a man who decided to leave school and make a 500-mile trek across France and Spain. His father, Tom (Sheen), was not happy with his son's decision and the two became estranged. But after he learned of Daniel's death from an accident in the Pyrenees Mountains on the first day of his expedition, Tom decided to take the journey himself.

Prior to making the film, it had been Sheen's longtime dream to make this trek of walking El Camino de Santiago. It is a 900 kilometer route through Spain that every year draws thousands of travelers daring enough to make the journey. In the movie, Sheen makes the pilgrimage in honor of his son and scatters his ashes along the way.

Estevez wrote and directed this heartfelt journey of the soul.

During the walk, Sheen's character takes the pilgrimage and meets a series of new friends and opens himself up to a journey of the spirit.

Said Estevez, "This whole idea of the stranger in a strange land was appealing. It was about 'how do we get the character there.' So it was really taking something calamitous, something like an emotional tornado to get our Dorothy from California to Spain, and deposit him there, where he meets the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man and the Scarecrow."

He continued, "Why is it that we know so much about Italian culture and Italian food and French culture and French food and Spain has sort of been this island to a certain extent? So it's a bit of an unknown. I believe that if The Wizard of Oz helps people connect to what this story is, then all the better. And you know, the whole Camino is marked in yellow. So it's no accident."

Photo Credit: WENN