MOTORCYCLE DIARIES’ Walter Salles and Jose Rivera to Adapt AMERICAN RUST

     October 19, 2009

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While Steven Soderbergh released his epic-that-no-one-saw, “Che”, I found 2004’s “The Motorcycle Diaries” to be an intimate and compelling of Che Guevara before he became Che Guevara.  It rarely felt like an origin story and it made Guevara’s tale one of “I succeeded and you didn’t because I was me and you are you.”  The duo of director Walter Salles and writer Jose Rivera made that film work (along with a terrific performance by Gael Garcia Bernal) and I’m thrilled to report that they’ll be re-teaming to adapt the novel, “American Rust”.  Hit the jump for details.

According to Variety, Salles and Rivera will tell the story of “two longtime friends from an economically depressed steel town in Pennsylvania whose dreams of escaping to California are dashed when they’re implicated in a crime.”  That sounds like a pretty solid premise although reviews of the book use terms like “unrelentingly downbeat” and “unflinching storytelling” meaning that this is either low-budget or it doesn’t happen.  And even then, unless they do an amazing job, it’s going to be tough to get a distributor to pick it up.  Stuber Productions optioned the book at Universal gets first-look at the film but even then, this sounds like a hard sell but a story worth telling and I’m sure Salles and Rivera are up to the task.

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