New article about the book's adaptation
Shooting has started on the film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, directed by Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries), and starring Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, and Amy Adams, among others. MTV.com has pics of Stewart on set, looking like her usual self, but in fifties hepcat garb. It’s an interesting decision to use the film’s wallet to fill the female roles in what is essentially a male-dominated story. The relatively unknown Sam Riley will play Kerouac stand-in Sal Paradise. Paradise’s best friend and object of homo-erotic obsession Dean Moriarty (based on Neal Cassady) will be played by the only slightly more known Garrett Hedlund, who starred opposite Brad Pitt on the movie Troy, but hasn’t done much since.
An adaptation of On the Road is a daunting and difficult task, but Salles seems to be the man for the job. The Motorcycle Diaries, while not a masterpiece, was beautifully shot, and it will be fun to see what Salles does for the American landscape. Stewart and Mortensen were born to hang with the Beats (see Viggo as a hippie stud in the indie date night classic A Walk On the Moon), and casting an unknown as Paradise feels like the right call too; it re-affirms the writer character’s role as chronicler of events, always on the outskirts, never the star. Possibly the oddest casting decision here is including Amy Adams in the movie. After her Oscar-nominated breakout performance in Junebug, Adams has stuck to mostly mainstream middlebrow fare, playing essentially the same fast-talking cute-if-innocuous character every time out. (The possibly exception being the warm-hearted if weakly-executed Sunshine Cleaning, in which Adams shows her nipples.) Not sure how big a role she’ll have, or who exactly Adams will be playing, but it be a good chance for her to show her chops in a slightly different setting.