The late great Marlon Brando’s stuff is being auctioned off, and one of the items on the block turns out to be an old letter from Jack Kerouac about the possibility of Brando starring in a film version of “On The Road” (a film that, decades later, has still never been made).
This story appeals to me because I love both of these icons, even though I can’t see Brando playing either Sal Paradise or Dean Moriarty. The Brando image is too strong, too major-key, for the shy and sensitive Sal Paradise, and not nearly cheerful or gregarious enough for the dynamic Dean Moriarty. Still, I can understand why Kerouac would have wanted the most exciting actor of his generation to champion the film of his book, and I think it’s just a little sad that, as this article tells us, Brando never wrote back to Kerouac and apparently snubbed him on other occasions as well. What’s with the attitude, Marlon?
Marlon Brando, circa 1962, playing Kerouac’s Ray Smith in a film version of “Big Sur” — now that’s a Kerouac/Brando collab I would have liked to see.