What would be the best way to honor a famous recluse who wanted nothing more than to live in anonymity, free of scrutiny and the spotlight? You make a biopic about him and cast one of the best young actors in Hollywood. Nicholas Hoult will be playing JD Salinger in a film about the famous author’s life.
The film, titled Rebel in the Rye, will be based on the biography JD Salinger: A Life, written by Kenneth Slawenski. The movie’s title comes from Salinger’s most famous work, The Catcher in the Rye, which is still read in high schools around the country.
The Catcher in the Rye was released in 1951 and has been surrounded by controversy ever since. Salinger published his last official work in 1965 and spent the rest of his life away from the public eye, except when in court suing people, until his death in 2010. It seems safe to say he would have hated the attention this movie will surely bring.
If your only experience with JD Salinger is the story of Holden Caulfield, do yourself a favor and seek out his collection of short stories, simply titled Nine Stories. The entire collection is worth your time, but especially the story “For Esme—With Love and Squalor,” one of the most beautiful short stories I have ever read.
Can you name another celebrity that would have hated a movie about his life more than Salinger? Name them in the comments. I’ll just be over here waiting, thinking about where the ducks in Central Park go when the lagoon freezes.
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