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First Look: Garrett Hedlund As Dean Moriarty In Walter Salles' Jack Kerouac Adaptation 'On The Road'

by Simon Dang
November 18, 2010 2:11 AM
16 Comments
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Is The Black & White Photography Reflective Of Film's Own Style?



There aren't many other projects kicking around at the moment we're more excited for than Walter Salles' adaptation Jack Kerouac's iconic novel "On The Road."

Starring Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley as protagonists Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise on a journey across the North American landscape in pursuit of self-knowledge and experience, the adaptation quickly came together earlier this year after spending what seemed like an eternity in developmental hell -- a tale well-told in Salles' work-in-progress documentary "In Search of On the Road" -- conjuring a stellar cast including Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Sturridge, Steve Buscemi, Terrence Howard, Alice Braga and Elisabeth Moss.

The project has now been in production since August and, although things have been relatively quiet since a few early set photos, two stills of Hedlund as Moriarty have now been unveiled; both interestingly in black and white. Salles has previously stated in the aforementioned documentary that "any version of "On the Road" done correctly would need to be shot in black and white." Could these shots then also be an early reflection of the film's aesthetic style?


As if we need more reason to be excited, the project also serves as a reunion for Salles with the majority of his behind the camera team from "The Motorcycle Diaries" including writer Jose Rivera, DP. Eric Gautier, production designer Carlos Conti and composer Gustavo Santaolalla. Of the score, two-time Oscar-winning composer Santaolalla ("Brokeback Mountain," "Babel") revealed that "it's a challenge. Because every time you work with a well known book, an iconic book, it's already hard to make on a cinematographic level. But in this case in particular, it's also a musical challenge, because all the beats poets have a very important relation with music, and with a particular music style that's the Bebop, and a period of time that was very important in music. In that time, people like John Cage, Harry Partch, and Harry Parker became known. That's something that makes me very excited and that presents me a challenge and I love that."

One review of Rivera's script excitingly proclaimed that the script "should be the biggest and best reason to look forward to 'On the Road'" and noted that the scribe "splices intermittent pieces of Kerouac’s poetic prose with Sal’s coming-of-age self discovery story, but makes the script his own. A bit about a writer’s self-loathing and the historical context of their wild exploits are on the mark, but perhaps more impressive is his control of the characters’ energy, from rowdy spontaneity to Sal’s gradual disillusionment.

Below are also a couple of set photos of the cast including one of Hedlund, Riley and Sturridge with John Allen Cassady, the real offspiring of Beat Generation icon Neal. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola through his production shingle American Zoetrope in conjunction with VideoFilmes, Film4 and France 2, "On The Road" is currently lensing around the globe and is scheduled to complete sometime in December. Perhaps it will hit the Croisette next year? [via OnTheRoadFilm]


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16 Comments

  • ML | December 6, 2010 5:32 AMReply

    What's the main reason to shoot in Black and White ?
    I just cant find any reason ... Why Salles tells : if it got to be made correctly it should be B &W ...
    Personally I want to live this movie, I wanna be sit in the car while Neal's drinving... I think B&W will bring an unwanted distance. I thinks this story is so colorfull, so why B&W ?

  • lela | November 20, 2010 6:38 AMReply

    nora:

    the screenwriter is the OSCAR nominated writer of the motorcycle diaries!...if you had read his original draft of letters to juliet, you would''ve seen that that too was a gorgeous script that was ruined when stupid execs fired him for being too smart and not on the nose and proceeded to hire 5 other writers to destroy his script! the screenplay for on the road is STILL being written and re-written...so, unless you really know what you are talking about, please keep your uninformed opinions to yourself.

  • Lesh | November 19, 2010 4:41 AMReply

    I am not trying to be immature or anything, but Nora, Garrett Hedlund is a brilliant actor. If you watch more than Eragon or Georgia Rule (the only two I've ever heard his performance bashed in, though I disagree) you will see he does a great job. His character may not have been all too bright or whatever you'd like to think but he certainly played the role fitting to the character. Who is to say he could not do it here? If you listen to the other cast and crew of Four Brothers talk about how he works you will see he puts a lot of heart into it and it most definietly comes across on screen. He is a lot more talented than you gave him credit. I am just saying give him a chance to show what he can do because he sure can suprise. You shouldn't worry about his ability to deliver a great performance.

  • Talley | November 19, 2010 12:25 AMReply

    "NOBODY has read the 2010 script except cast and crew. Period."

    Haaaa!!! So they'd like to think. Not true.

  • rachael | November 18, 2010 9:15 AMReply

    Hedlund and Stewart have the acting chops. One needs to broaden their movie base to more than just Twilight to catch what a great actress Stewart is. Rodger Ebert and many others give her fantastic reviews but only those closed minded people who have seen few of her other films say negative things. Garrett is just fantastic in the roles that he has played as well.

  • katie | November 18, 2010 7:32 AMReply

    NOBODY has read the 2010 script except cast and crew. Period.

  • PhillipG. | November 18, 2010 6:06 AMReply

    Both Hedlund and Stewart had time to leave this project and do something else. The stars are Hedlund and Riley. The movie really depends on their relationship if it's going to be believable. Walter Salles cares a lot about this projects so I will wait to judge. He probably did "Dark Water" for the money or the challenge. It wasn't great but it's not bad either.

  • Marrrk | November 18, 2010 5:10 AMReply

    "Meh, reviews based on what people THINK they know. the movie is not done yet. hilarious.

    ...OTR will be great."


    good job there, Paul.

  • tessa | November 18, 2010 5:07 AMReply

    He is so not KEROUAC. I cringe at the thought of all this.

  • paul | November 18, 2010 4:24 AMReply

    Meh, reviews based on what people THINK they know ...the movie is not done yet..hilarious. Salles is a brilliant director, Jose Rivera is competent and the actors give me a good vibe. OTR will be great.

  • annie | November 18, 2010 4:21 AMReply

    Nora, "Dark water" is a movie he had to make because of contratual obligations. That film is not representative of his work at all. Sorry, you're so shallow... Any 'review' done BEFORE the movie comes out is completely irrelevant.

  • Amanda | November 18, 2010 4:14 AMReply

    Nora, which script did you read? I read both the 2005 and 2008 versions and was told there was a 2010 version as well (which I haven't had the chance to read).

  • nora | November 18, 2010 3:56 AMReply

    As I said in my opening sentence.. I HAVE READ THE SCRIPT and my review of OF THE SCRIPT is as stated ABOVE; where I'm from this is called critising, reviewing; how about you grow up and realise that a negative review is still a REVIEW; I don't see you whinning about the positive thoughts this article gives of the film, you only whine about my negative review; sorry, Salles hasn't established himself as a great director yet, the script writter is not 100% amazing either, I mean, he did write "Letters to Julliette" among other not so great stuff; my faith lies to Santaolala's brilliance and Sam Riley who has proven himself to be an amazing actor; feel free to share your review IF you have read the script and IF you are familiar with the past work of the people involved in this project; see, I'm being an adult about Jess, maybe you should too..if you are an adult that is..

  • BradZuhl | November 18, 2010 3:47 AMReply

    With Salles at the helm (and possibly shot in B&W), and Coppola producing, I think this is going to be fantastic.

  • Jess | November 18, 2010 3:36 AMReply

    "People like Hedlund & Stewart" b/c you've seen a ton of either actors work right?

    How about stopping the debbie downer and waiting for the movie that took 50 yrs to come to screen and that so far Salles has treated with incredible respect to at least be finished filiming before we trash it? Just a thought.

  • nora | November 18, 2010 3:13 AMReply

    I read the script&unfortunately; it's ...too narrative to be considered a script; it describes..emotions, the heroes' thoughts, etc; that may or may not be translated in the heroes' eyes, depends on the director&above; all the actors and when people like Hedlund and Stewart are in this film, I can't help but doubt the outcome..also, you imply how magnificent a director Salles is; sure he did the motorcycle diaries, a brilliant film no doubt, but you seem to forget that he also directed on of the lamest films ever, "Dark Water" ! A brilliant asian thriller that he butchered in his american studio version; so hold your horses, cause the jury is still out on Salles too!

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