Yesterday, we found out that legendary author J.D. Salinger had passed away at the age of 91, and before the news can settle Hollywood has already pounced on his life story. According to Deadline Hollywood Daily, a feature documentary is already completed detailing the reclusive life of the writer.
Nikki Finke is reporting exclusively that writer Shane Salerno has directed and produced Salinger, a 2-hour documentary that was completed last year after a five year production. The film was self-financed by Salerno, and includes 150 interviews from sources who revealed what they knew about the writer. Apparently there was so much info collected that he, along with bestselling author David Shields, created a 700-page companion book to go with it.
Some of the sources interviewed for the film include many A-list Hollywood talents, as well as people who worked with Salinger at The New Yorker such as Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, John Cusack, Danny DeVito, John Guare, Martin Sheen, David Milch, Robert Towne, Tom Wolfe, E.L. Doctorow, A. Scott Berg, Elizabeth Frank, and Gore Vidal. It sounds like this will be the closest thing we’ll get to seeing a successful J.D. Salinger film, because a Catcher in the Rye movie isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
Catcher in the Rye has been the object of many filmmakers desires for decades, but it has never been successfully adapted. Salinger was very protective over his work, he even sued another author who tried to make a sequel to it. Let’s be honest, even if they did turn the story into a film, they would never be able to do it right. There’s something about the intricacies of Salinger’s writing that’s best transcribed from the page to your imagination, and not the big screen.
Are you interested in seeing a documentary on J.D. Salinger? Do you think anyone could ever adapt Catcher in the Rye to film?