Some time in the late 1950s, legendary beat writer Jack Kerouac sent a letter to Marlon Brando, then the finest, most famous actor on the planet. “I’m praying that you’ll buy ON THE ROAD and make a movie of it,” Kerouac wrote. “I wanted you to play the part because Dean (as you know) is no dopey hotrodder but a real intelligent (in fact Jesuit) Irishman … You play Dean and I’ll play Sal,” the letter read.
More than five and a half decades later, Kerouac’s seminal work will finally hit the silver screen.
‘On the Road’ stars Sam Riley as Sal Paradise and Garrett Hedlund as the mad Dean Moriarty, Kristen Stewart as his teen bride Marylou, Tom Sturridge as Carlo Marx and Viggo Mortensen as Old Bull Lee.
One would think, given the cultural relevance of the book and the inevitable hype that comes with adapting it to film, that this can only be a letdown. And it still may be. But the trailer, showing the ol’ gang criss-crossing (jump! jump!) the country in the search for adventure and the meaning of it all, seems like it holds up to the spirit of the book. Them crazy kids are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved.
After they get through with this, if there’s a market for it, hopefully someone will crank out a version of ‘Off the Road,’ a frank depiction of this tight-knit group by Neal Cassady’s wife Carolyn.
Click Page 2 below to see the actual letter from Kerouac to Brando …
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