Put simply, Waltes Salles' adaptation of Jack Kerouac's "On The Road" is a film we're anticipating this year with as much excitement as any other. Unfortunately it looks like that wait will have to be a tad longer as any surprise appearance at the Croisette this May is unlikely, with one of the film's supporting cast members, Alice Braga, telling Pilula Pop the production is working towards a 2012 release after recently wrapping principal photography.
That schedule would put the film in line for a fall festival unveiling rather than Cannes this May -- a sentiment reportedly backed by the pic's French distributor's MK2 -- making for another major Croisette "dropout" alongside Wong Kar-wai's "The Grand Masters" and Pedro Almodóvar's "The Skin I Live In." Braga, when asked about whether or not the film would be in black and white as Salles had valiantly campaigned for (and despite early photos hinting at such), said "No! It's colorful!"
An adaptation of Jack Kerouac's iconic novel, Salles' film features an illustrious cast including Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Steve Buscemi, Elisabeth Moss, Terrence Howard and Danny Morgan with the tale, of course, exploring the story of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty (surrogates for Kerouac and Neal Cassady played by Hedlund and Riley), as they journey across the North American landscape in pursuit of self-knowledge and experience. The film also reunites Salles with his "The Motorcycle Diaries" DoP Eric Gautier, production designer Carlos Conti and composer Gustavo Santaolalla. Can you blame us for being excited?
Tasked with the job of adapting the novel, meanwhile, is another "The Motorcycle Diaries" alum in scribe José Rivera who recently described his efforts as an attempt to be "very faithful to 'On The Road' because it has so many fans. It's a book that changed so many lives and I wanted to make sure that people got the 'On The Road' that they loved."
"There's a lot of the original book still in the screenplay, still in the film," Rivera further explained to CityTV. "But also I brought in lots of other things like there's a lot of poems of [Allen] Ginsberg, there's material from Bill Burroughs, there's stuff from Neal Cassady. In a lot of ways, the movie's about the Beat Generation surrounding 'On The Road.' All those incredible personalities, all the crazy sex, drugs and rock' n roll -- uh, more jazz and rock n' roll but that's what their lives were about. I think we tried to capture the energy of that, the spontaneity and the reckless beauty of the whole time period."
"One of the things you do as a screenwriter in an adaptation is try to improve the original which, I know, sounds really arrogant. 'On The Road, like any book, has its flaws and one of the flaws is that the women characters are not very well developed. The women characters seem to be the ones that get pregnant, stay at home and are upset. I worked very hard to create three dimensional women characters. Hopefully no one will be upset by that but it is a departure."
We can't wait to see what Salles and Rivera have crafted here. Definitely sounds like they've gone above and beyond the words in Kerouac's novel in bringing the Beat Generation to the silver screen which is certainly risky but we've got total faith in the duo behind 'Motorcycle Diaries.' Here's hoping they can gun for a Venice or Toronto premiere but there is still plenty to look forward to at Cannes this year. Terrence Malick's "The Tree Of Life" is now locked and another film we didn't expect is apparently racing to the finish to the line in time for the fest.
Variety reports that Michael Haneke's "Love" may walk the Croisette in May. But he'll have to move fast. The film started a 40-day shoot in February but the trade is hearing that somehow, Haneke may turn it around in time.
The film will find the director reteaming with Isabelle Huppert (”The Piano Teacher,” “Time of the Wolf”) and will also star French icon Jean-Louis Trintignant in a story that will center on octogenarians Georges (Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), who are retired music teachers. Their daughter (Huppert), also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne suffers a minor stroke. When she leaves the hospital and returns home, she is paralysed down one side, challenging the elderly couple's relationship.
Again, this is just a rumor for now and that would be one helluva production turnaround. But Haneke has a great relationship with the festival -- he's presented five of his last seven features there, winning the Palme d'Or for "The White Ribbon" -- and if he can get it in the can, we're sure his latest would be welcomed with open arms.