The Catcher In The Rye may be the most famous novel never to receive a screen adaptation. Author J.D. Salinger famously refused offer after offer for the movie rights to his seminal novel, including those from the likes of Samuel Goldwyn, Billy Wilder, Jerry Lewis, Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Harvey Weinstein, and Steven Spielberg; he died admitting that while an adaptation could arise after his death, he still thought it a poor idea and was glad he wouldn’t have to see it.
But hey, if you can’t adapt Catcher, you can always make a biopic of the reclusive Salinger himself, whose experiences in World War II heavily influenced the book. That’s what Rebel In The Rye is doing, as evidenced in this just-released trailer:
A pretty handsome trailer there; well-cut and propulsive, even if it appears to be concealing a somewhat stuffier, more biopic-y biopic than it’d have you think.
The movie covers Salinger’s writing career, including the creation of Catcher itself; his service in World War II; and his personal life, much of which is still a mystery. Nicholas Hoult plays Salinger, joined by Kevin Spacey, Sarah Paulson, and a slew of other familiar faces (if less-familiar names). It opens on September 15th.
Sadly, there’s no word yet on whether Rebel in the Rye will cover Salinger’s re-emergence into the spotlight with his game show Hollywoo Stars and Celebrities: What Do They Know? Do They Know Things?? Let's Find Out!, as documented in Bojack Horseman. That live-action treatment may have to wait.