Garrett Hedlund (Tron Legacy) is in negotiations to play the lead role of Dean Moriarty in Walter Salles’ (The Motorcycle Diaries) adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. A film adaptation of the book, which was published in 1957, has been in development for years. Francis Ford Coppola optioned the rights back in the 1970s.
In an interview in 2008 with CNN [via /Film], Salles said “I am not really interested in doing a period piece that wouldn’t have a correlation with what we are living right now. There is a strange modernity to the theme, and maybe On the Road is more contemporary today than it ever was.”
Production Weekly tweets that production is set to begin this summer. Hit the jump to learn more about On the Road and the character of Dean Moriarty.
Here’s the review from Publishers Weekly [via Amazon]:
Fans of Kerouac get the whole beautiful, groovy deal with this new recording of the radically hip novel that many consider the heart of the Beat movement. Poetic, open and raw, Kerouac’s prose lays out a cross-country adventure as experienced by Sal Paradise, an autobiographical character. A writer holed up in a room at his aunt’s house, Paradise gets inspired by Dean Moriarty (a character based on Kerouac’s friend Neal Cassady) to hit the road and see America. From the moment he gets on the seven train out of New York City, he takes the reader through the highs and lows of hitchhiking, bonding with fellow explorers and opting for beer before food. First published in 1957, Kerouac’s perennially hot story continues to express the restless energy and desire for freedom that makes people rush out to see the world. The tale is only improved by Dillon’s well-paced, articulate reading as he voices the flow of images and graveled reality of Paradise’s search for the edge.
I’ve never read the book. I’m deeply ashamed, will read the book one day, and then will not feel ashamed anymore. Moving on, it’s pretty hard to meet over thirty years of expectations, but best of luck to Mr. Salles.