After a long time in the can it seems we are finally going to get a look at Walter Salles‘ adaptation of the celebrated novel On the Road. Predicted to feature in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, On the Road is based on Beat author Jack Kerouac’s novel about a writer and his close friend who take several spontaneous road trips across America in search of an obscure truth characterised as “It”, a concept that the Beat authors were constantly searching for.
Kerouac’s novel is so influential and literary that it seems impossible to imagine a film of it. Certainly the book is very meandering in terms of narrative and it does what all great books do, which is focus on the minute details of the written word in a way that only works when read. Transporting it to film is an unenviable task.
However, it is in very capable hands, director Walter Salles and screenwriter Jose Rivera previously worked on The Motorcycle Diaries, a road trip movie about the early life of Che Guevara. Aside from being a really well told and brilliantly acted film, it was practically Walter Salles‘ pitch to the studio for him to make On the Road. Turns out he got the gig and his version will be likely hitting US theatres in the fall, just in time for awards season. A couple of days ago Josh Dickey from Variety announced via Twitter that the UK release date for the film had been set:
ON THE ROAD to be released across the U.K. on Sept. 21 in a partnership between Icon Film and Lionsgate. More to come …
With announcements now pouring out and promotional material coming to us via Facebook, we can expect a lot more news surrounding On the Road to be released very soon, such as trailers and clips. First up though we have a first poster and some new stills from the film.
The images look perfect. They are a very fitting match to what I imagined in the novel, it is a grubby and decrepit world and the actors chosen for the key roles: Sam Riley as Sal Paradise, Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty and Kirsten Stewart as Mary-Lou, all have the demeanour that is perfect for this old school world of people who consider themselves rock stars but are in essence, massively out of their comfort zone.
The poster I’m less crazy about and seems partly to be in direct contrast to the images, it is more romanticized and a bit saccharine for me. However, I still cannot wait to hear more about this, expect to see it crop up in the official Cannes selection in a few weeks time and snag a US release date very soon. For now, On the Road is coming down the highway and will be with us, sooner rather than later.