By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 9, 2012 at 6:17AM
While Walter Salles' "On the Road" was up for sale before Cannes, many of the bigger buyers chose to wait to see how it would be received in Competition at the Festival. Just before the fest, however, AMC Networks' IFC Films and Sundance Selects scooped up for seven figures all U.S. rights to the episodic two and half hour film, which stars Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams and Viggo Mortensen. IFC and Sundance are jointly releasing the film in theaters in late fall.
Jose Rivera (Salles' "The Motorcycle Diaries") adapted the novel by Jack Kerouac for MK2 Productions and producer Nathanael Karmitz, Charles Gillibert, Rebecca Yeldham and Roman Coppola for American Zoetrope. Executive producer Francis Ford Coppola had developed the project since 1978.
Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films promised to "work across AMC Networks in putting all our resources together to make this theatrical release into a significant cultural event."
"On the Road" tells the iconic quest of writer Sal (Sam Riley), free spirit speed freak Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) and girlfriend Marylou (Kristen Stewart) on a cross-country road trip to escape from stifling conformity. Charting new terrain, the duo meet an eclectic mix of men and women -- Bull (Viggo Mortensen), Camille (Kirsten Dunst), Carlo (Tom Sturridge), Jane (Amy Adams), Terry (Alice Braga), and Galatéa (Elisabeth Moss).
Brazilian director Salles ("Foreign Land" and Oscar nominee "Central Station") most recently directed Daniela Thomas "Linha de Passe," which won Sandra Corveloni the Best Actress at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.