Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Eddie Redmayne & Alicia Vikander Feature In Beautiful First Posters For Transgender Drama ‘The Danish Girl’ Eddie Redmayne & Alicia Vikander Feature In Beautiful First Posters For Transgender Drama ‘The Danish Girl’ New Images Of Kristen Stewart In Stoner Comedy 'American Ultra' And Sci-Fi 'Equals' New Images Of Kristen Stewart In Stoner Comedy 'American Ultra' And Sci-Fi 'Equals' Watch: First Trailer For Serial Killer Thriller 'Solace' Starring Anthony Hopkins And Colin Farrell Watch: First Trailer For Serial Killer Thriller 'Solace' Starring Anthony Hopkins And Colin Farrell Watch: Full Length 'Making Batman Begins' Doc, Christopher Nolan Talks Legacy Of Film On 10th Anniversary Watch: Full Length 'Making Batman Begins' Doc, Christopher Nolan Talks Legacy Of Film On 10th Anniversary ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Daniel Day-Lewis Was Almost Cast In A Narrative Version Of 'Salinger' (And Almost Played Hannibal Lecter Too)

The Playlist By Cain Rodriguez | The Playlist September 11, 2013 at 1:23PM

It took him nearly a decade but Shane Salerno finally scratched his itch to get to the heart of the most infamous literary recluse of them all, J.D. Salinger. Long before his documentary “Salinger,” had the backing of The Weinstein Company Salerno began his journey with an ambitious idea: make a biopic with Daniel Day-Lewis stepping into the famed author’s shoes.
4
J.D. Salinger, Daniel Day Lewis

It took him nearly a decade but Shane Salerno finally scratched his itch to get to the heart of the most infamous literary recluse of them all, J.D. Salinger. Long before his documentary “Salinger,” had the backing of The Weinstein Company Salerno began his journey with an ambitious idea: make a biopic with Daniel Day-Lewis stepping into the famed author’s shoes.

Speaking with the Huffington Post, Salerno spoke about how he acquired the film rights to the Paul Alexander-written 1999 biography of the reclusive author (also called, simply, "Salinger") with the intention to pitch it as a narrative film. We’ll let Salerno take it from here: “I thought Daniel Day-Lewis not only perfectly encapsulated Salinger, but when Daniel Day-Lewis is made up for events he can look strikingly like Salinger at certain angles.” We can see it. (Keep in mind that Salerno, best known as an in-demand Hollywood screenwriter, was involved in initial drafts of what would eventually become David Fincher's exhaustive historical epic "Zodiac.")

But how did that version of “Salinger” morph into the ideration currently playing in limited release (with expansion each weekend)? Salerno explains because of nerves, he began “preparing the research in order to prepare for a meeting that I hoped would happen.” “Over the course of all this research I realized it’s a documentary,” Salerno told Metro.

While this proposed version is an interesting glimpse into what might have been (in our wildest imagination, the meeting between Day-Lewis and Salerno would have ended with Day-Lewis professing his love for Salerno's "Alien vs. Predator: Requiem" script), we're pretty satisfied with the version that wound up coming to fruition (you can read our Telluride review here). “Salinger” is open in limited release right now and expanding every weekend for a little while, so you can see for yourself if Salerno made the right choice about switching to the documentary format.

On a related note, Daniel Day-Lewis was also in the running to play Hannibal Lecter in "Silence of the Lambs," at least according to a new book by Derek Jacobi. The English actor noted that he too was in the running to play the infamous cannibal, which won Sir Anthony Hopkins the Academy Award, saying that the producers were keen on hiring an English actor. We suspect that this was because they wanted to give the character an air of rarified grace, and being British certainly helps with that. Of course, it is fascinating to think about what Jacobi or Day-Lewis would have brought to the role, although it's hard to think of anyone capturing the character in that screenplay with quite as much relish.


This article is related to: Shane Salerno, Daniel Day-Lewis, Salinger


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates