IFC Films and Black Label Media have revealed the first trailer for the J.D. Salinger biopic entitled Rebel in the Rye. In April of 2014 it was announced that screenwriter and actor Danny Strong would make his directorial debut with the movie, which was then titled Salinger's War based off of the book J.D. Salinger: A Life by Kenneth Slawenski. Reportedly Strong bought the rights to the book on his own and adapted the movie's script. In August of 2015 the movie was retitled to its current title Rebel in the Rye and today we have a first look at the movie, which is about the early life and genius of writer J.D. Salinger in the early 1940s.
Rebel in the Rye is the story of the legendary and mysterious author. The trailer comes to us via MovieClips Trailers YouTube channel and it gives a basic outline of the plot while celebrating the genius of Salinger. The story outlines Salinger's rebellious youth all the way through when the writer fought on the front lines of World War II where he was assigned to the counter-intelligence division, for which he used his proficiency in French and German to interrogate prisoners of war. During the war Salinger suffered terrible loss and suffered rejection from the New Yorker upon arriving home. The movie focuses on this period up until his PTSD-fueled writers-block that led to his creative breakthrough book, The Catcher in the Rye.
The movie features an impressive cast that includes Nicholaus Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road) as J.D. Salinger, Kevin Spacey (House of Cards) as Whitt Burnett, Sarah Paulsen (American Horror Story) as Dorothy Olding, Brian D'Arcy James (Mozart in the Jungle) as Giroux, Victor Garber (Sicario) as Sol Salinger, and Zoey Deutch (Before I Fall) as Oona O'Neil. Filming started in April of 2016 in New York City and later had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24th, 2017. It was announced shorty thereafter that IFC had acquired the rights to distribute the movie.
Kenneth Slawenski started to write J.D. Salinger: A Life after the writer's death in 2010. The book has been criticized for filling in gaps and drawing direct correlation between Salinger and his work, which is a bit dubious. Salinger was notoriously secretive and often mysterious about his personal life, but the book does a good job of painting a picture of the rebellious young Salinger all the way up until he penned the literary classic The Catcher in the Rye. There is no official proof that Salinger channeled his depression through his characters, but that's what Slawenski implies, so it will be interesting to see how the Rebel in the Rye differs from the biography.
Written and directed by Danny Strong, Rebel in the Rye is set to open in theaters on September 15th, 2017. In the meantime you can always check out Slawenski's biography on the late great J.D. Salinger before the movie opens or you can just take a few minutes out of your day and check out the excellent trailer below. The trailer looks excellent and the cast for Rebel in the Rye is already something to be celebrated.