Sunday, May 20, 2012

Walter Salles' "On the Road" premieres this week at Cannes

Kerouac's letter asking Marlon Brando
to appear in On the Road, 1957.
At that time, Kerouac himself 
wanted to play Sal Paradise.
Brando did not reply.

After more than a 50-year series of dream projects stretching back to Brando and Dean, a film version of On the Road is about to receive its premiere this Wednesday at Cannes. Here is the first official trailer for the film, directed by Walter Salles with a screenplay written by Jose Rivera (director and writer, respectively, of The Motorcycle Diaries). The film stars Garret Hedlund as Dean Moriarty, Sam Riley as Sal Paradise, Tom Sturridge as Carlo Marx, and Viggo Mortenson as Old Bull Lee. 

An excerpt from Kerouac's letter:

I'm praying that you'll buy ON THE ROAD and make a movie of it. Don't worry about the structure, I know to compress and re-arrange the plot a bit to give perfectly acceptable movie-type structure: making it into one all-inclusive trip instead of the several voyages coast-to-coast in the book, one vast round trip from New York to Denver to Frisco to Mexico to New Orleans to New York again. I visualise the beautiful shots could be made with the camera on the front seat of the car showing the road (day and night) unwinding into the windshield, as Sal and Dean yak. I wanted you to play the part because Dean (as you know) is no dopey hotrodder but a real intelligent (in fact Jesuit) Irishman. You play Dean and I'll play Sal (Warner Bros. mentioned I play Sal) and I'll show you how Dean acts in real life, you couldn't possibly imagine it without seeing a good imitation. Fact, we can go visit him in Frisco, or have him come down to L.A. still a real frantic cat but nowadays settled down with his final wife saying the Lord's Prayer with his kiddies at you'll seen when you read the play BEAT GENERATION. All I want out of this is to able to establish myself and my mother a trust fund for life, so I can really go roaming around the world writing about Japan, India, France etc. ...I want to be free to write what comes out of my head & free to feed my buddies when they're hungry & not worry about my mother. ...


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