It doesn’t seem to be a particularly good time to be a major star in Hollywood. With filmmakers looking at ways to cut costs, a lot of the juiciest role are going to young, comparatively little known actors. That was certainly true when Garrett Hedlund scored the lead in the upcoming Tron Legacy, and it appears he’s now in negotiations for another much coveted role.
Despite being the touchstone book of the beat generation, Jack Kerouac’s On The Road has never become a movie, despite numerous attempts stretching over 30 years. However that’s set to change, with Walter Salles (who covered similar road movie territory with The Motorcycle Diaries) planning a movie version of the tale. According to a Production Weekly tweet, ‘Garrett Hedlund in talks to play Dean Moriarty in the Walter Salles adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, due to film this summer.’
That would see him playing Kerouac’s (who calls himself Sal in the book) travelling companion, who was vital in getting the writer to go off on the road trips that inspired him. Indeed, the opening paragraph states, ‘with the coming of Dean Moriarty began the part of my life you could call my life on the road.’ It’s a fantastic part, with Dean part epic free-spirit hero and part trapped rat.
It’s undoubtedly a tough book to film – hence why it’s taken so long to get off the ground – but it’ll certainly be interesting to see what they come up with.