Speaking of Movies …

It’s time for the semi-annual news report about Francis Ford Coppola’s never-ending attempt to greenlight a film of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road.

I’m not sure if I want to see this film made or not. Probably not, but if somebody’s got to do it, I think Coppola is the right choice. However, I’m not reserving my tickets on Moviefone just yet … we’ve been covering this film on LitKicks a long time.

Maybe the film will finally get made. Maybe it won’t. Maybe it will star Billy Crudup as Sal Paradise, or maybe it will star Jack Black as Allen Ginsberg (well, why the hell not?).

We’ve also been hearing about Joyce Johnson’s Kerouac film project for a long time, and in fact I attended a read-through of this screenplay over a year ago. Adira Amram (David’s daughter) played the Joyce Johnson character, and I think Adira Amram should get the role in the movie as well.

And Jack Black should play Allen Ginsberg.

14 Responses

  1. Tenacious GNow that is a
    Tenacious G

    Now that is a movie I’d stand in line for.

  2. ..I saw the best minds of my
    ..I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by inward singing.

  3. I’ll say it againI hope some
    I’ll say it again

    I hope some of the Kerouac film is done with that high-speed film for extremely sharp images. An example of this is the battle scenes in Saving Private Ryan.

    I hope they borrow from Visions of Cody, Big Sur, and Tristessa to help tell the Story of On the Road.

    Jack Black is a fine actor and I think he could play Ginsberg. I recently saw the previews of the new King Kong and, man, that Jack Black has facial expressions which can’t be beat.

  4. Farell?!I just can’t see

    I just can’t see Colin Farrell as Dean. Apparently he’s not too hot on the old American accent either. Billy Crudup I can buy on the look, but can he act? I had to look him up on the web to find out who he was.

    This film needs actors who are able to convey the spirit of the characters and of the work as a whole. It’s a toughie but I’ll offer up Ben Chaplin for Dean and Russell Crowe as Sal. I’m ready and waiting for people to shoot me down on those choices. I’m offering them up on looks alone really, not being too familiar with a whole gamut of their work. I’m simply aware that they are considered to be proficient actors. Are they up to the job?

  5. This is a tough call….I’d
    This is a tough call….

    I’d like to see the movie. It’s just the casting that bothers me. All the characters should be played by unknowns. I will certainly play Neal if Francis calls. It’s just really hard to imagine this book on the big screen. ‘The last time I commited suicide’ was a good movie. I thought the guy who played Neal was pretty close to the movie playing in my head when I read the letter he wrote Jack. Jack Black as Allen? I don’t know Levi. That’s just not sounding kosher. Anyway, he’s to old for the part. were they not all still in their twenties?

  6. DUDE! You can’t be serious.
    DUDE! You can’t be serious. Puck?
    That dude looks all scabby and gross. Not the image I see when imagining Neal the pick up artist.
    Neal had the nose of a boxer, and eyes so innocent and wild at the same time. Puck? I’d rather see Tom Hanks.

  7. Russell Crowe? As Sal? He’s
    Russell Crowe? As Sal? He’s an Aussie for chrisake. I am utterly alone here. I really believe this movie must have fresh faces. Russell is in his late thirties and in no way looks like Kerouac. Jack had piercing blue eyes. Perhaps I shouldn’t take this topic so seriously, but this book molded the teen I was into the man I am becoming and I do not want to see this turn into a who’s who of Hollywood playing characters they could never possibly understand.
    Bah Humbug.

  8. I kind of agree with Yabyum
    I kind of agree with Yabyum here, it would be interesting to see this done with relatively unknown actors. Gritty, real people who don’t hold previous associations for us … but I suppose if the acting is good enough it shouldn’t matter. Shouldn’t but a lot of the time it does. While not the best movie, I often wonder how the movie Sylvia would have been different with someone other than Paltrow as Plath.

  9. Ok, I concede on the Russell
    Ok, I concede on the Russell Crowe idea. It was late and I’d had a few puffs on the magic lantern. Forgive me this indiscretion. Unknowns? Great, if they can act. This book deserves the best treatment possible. Let’s not go down the Oliver Stone route. Doors anyone?

  10. Yes, yabyum, I agree that
    Yes, yabyum, I agree that they should be played by unknowns. Especially Jack. But if the studio feels the need to put at least one famous star in the movie, to draw a bigger audience, I think Jack Black would be a good choice because he is a very good actor, despite his shenanigans in the crazy comedies, and because I believe he could pull it off without overshadowing the rest of the cast. If he wanted to.

    I hope they don’t film it in black & white. Sure, there are a lot of black & white photos of the beats, but that doesn’t translate into any important aspect of a story where fireworks go off and everyone says, “Ahhhh.”

  11. I’m glad to see Russell
    I’m glad to see Russell Crowe’s name taken off the list. I guess my hope for the casting is to try to find unknowns who aren’t too hammy (which would exclude the Russell Crowes and Tom Hanks’s of the world). I’m thinking of a laid-back Jim Jarmusch/Mike Leigh approach … let the story define the momentum, and don’t turn every scene into an opportunity for the actors to apply for Academy awards. If I were directing this film, I would play up the travel scenes and the rush of odd encounters as they cross America — I would instruct the two main actors to play it down, and get more pronounced performances from the character actors who play the various oddballs they meet along the way. This would give the film some chance of not being a completely obnoxious experience.

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!