I have not yet seen Shane Salerno’s J.D. Salinger documentary Salinger. (My use of “yet” is mostly a lie, I don’t think I will ever see it.) (From what I have heard it is not great, also “HE WOULD HATE THIS” is written on almost every advertisement for it in the subway, and citizen marketing is the marketing that I trust.) (Plus as a teen I didn’t buy Kurt Cobain’s Journals because I knew he would be upset if he found out they had been published, and I am NOT going 2 turn my back on private dead dudes now.) Have you seen it? What do you think? Well, be quiet for a sec, it doesn’t matter, because we have bigger news to discuss: Salerno and The Weinstein Company are working on a Salinger biopic, and WHO SHOULD PLAY J.D. SALINGER IN IT?! From EW:

The Weinstein Company, which distributed Salinger and today announced plans to insert new footage into the doc when it expands Sept. 20, is collaborating with Salerno on a separate narrative film that focuses on Salinger’s life between World War II and the 1951 release of The Catcher in the Rye, which made Salinger a literary sensation. …

Salerno, who wrote Armageddon and is currently scripting one of the Avatar sequels, had always envisioned a narrative feature. In fact, he initially optioned the film rights to Paul Alexander’s 1999 biography Salinger with plans to make a Salinger biopic with Daniel Day-Lewis. “I thought Daniel Day-Lewis not only perfectly encapsulated Salinger, but when Daniel Day-Lewis is made up for events he can look strikingly like Salinger at certain angles,” Salerno recently told The Associated Press.

Daniel Day-Lewis is, at this point, probably too old to play the 23 – 32-year-old Salinger. Sooo who else? Benedict Cumberbatch? Don’t even say it, don’t you dare say Benedict Cumberbatch. He can’t play everything. Who else, other than him? Harry Potter? Ryan Lochte is mostly free these days, he could make a great Salinger. There already a rumor that it’s going to be Ryan Gosling, and smaller rumors that it could be either James Franco or Jake Gyllenhaal, so those bases are covered. Sooo. JESSE EISENBERG?! One of the kids from DIIV?! Tell meeeee, tell me who is should beeee! #phonies  #phonies  #phonies  #phonies  #factsonly

Comments (41)
  1. Salerno, who wrote Armageddon and is currently scripting one of the Avatar sequels

  2. Vincent Gallo, since he is also a good artist but creepy person.

  3. Man, I read “one of the Avatar sequels” and had a mini freak out because I thought they were referring to that abysmal Last Airbender movie.

  4. Me, obviously.

  5. I’m nominating John Henson, because back when he was hosting Talk Soup he had that little patch of gray hair just like Holden had that little patch of gray hair, and it made me love both of them.

  6. Ben Affleck

  7. The anti-Semitic Times Square Elmo

  8. Jeff Dunham and the actual corpse of J.D. Salinger

  9. I can play everything if I want to. I am everywhere. I am eternal. “Don’t tell me what I can’t do” is a line I incepted into J.J. Abrams’s head, along with “What if Khan was white?” Doubt me and perish.

  10. Original Steve from Blues Clues

  11. The ghost who puts books in rooms.

  12. When I was in middle school a couple of friends and I read the book and we went around calling everything and everyone “phony,” which was the phoniest thing we could’ve done.

  13. young Salinger—Jaden Smith
    old Salinger—Will Sm…hmm…Tim Allen

  14. Any one of the guys from To Catch A Predator.

  15. I find it funny that they’re making a biopic because they aren’t allowed to make any of Salinger’s actual books into movies.

    I loved Salinger in high school, still enjoy the Glass stuff. Haven’t read Catcher since I was 17, I’m worried I’ll hate it as an adult.

  16. One of the flies that’s currently trying to commit suicide by crawling into the light fixture in my office.

  17. Meryl Streep.


  18. A dinosaur from the upcoming Jurassic Park film. Get more than one use out of the thing.

  19. Nobel-Prize winning* Salinger: Woodrow Wilson

    Creepy Salinger: HP Lovecraft

    *May not have happened in history, only in 15-year-old Me’s head.

  20. Jon Hamm, duh.

  21. OK SO. I took my grandfather to see the Salinger documentary because he once hung out with the guy on a cruise and even though I really hate Catcher In The Rye and think Salinger’s a total misogynist, I am a good granddaughter. I was expecting to at least LEARN something, you know?

    But HOLY HELL WHAT AN AWFUL MOVIE. Like, no one should see this movie. I don’t even care about the fact that Salinger would hate it because who cares what a dead asshole thinks, but it was just a shitty, emotionally manipulative documentary that involved so many slow zooms on the same three pictures of him and, like, reenactments of when sad, Catcher-obsessed fans would go to his house and expect him to fix their lives and he’d just be like, “Dude, I am a fiction writer, not your therapist, you obviously need a therapist” and they’d be all, “BUT I DROVE ALL THE WAY OUT TO RURAL CONNECTICUT TO STALK YOU, YOU OWE ME MORE THAN THAT.” And then they talk about the war and show SO MANY pictures of horrible grotesque concentration camp things which had little to do with anything and was NOT what I signed up for and then he’s pathetically obsessed with the status of getting into The New Yorker and then he writes Catcher In The Rye and he’s like 30 but he clearly states that HE IS HOLDEN which is so fucked up, like, you are not a teenager, you are a man and Holden is a CRAZY ASSHOLE and maybe YOU should see a therapist, dude. Then the rest of the movie is basically about how he’s a misogynist and a pedophile who spent his entire life obsessed with VERY young girls and used his power and notoriety to lure them in and then ignore and denigrate and emotionally abuse them. All of the men being interviewed are white men who study and write books about him and are so wrapped up in this MYSTIQUE of Salinger that they talk so reverently about him and all the women they interview actually KNEW HIM and, like, break down crying when they talk about what a terrible and destructive person he was. And throughout the whole movie there’s this Salinger doppelganger on a darkened staged typing furiously on a typewriter and smoking cigarettes and behind him are projected pictures of the things that supposedly are affecting him and it was just horrible, worse-than-the-History-Channel filmmaking. Really, really bad. Don’t see it.

    I can’t imagine what an actual biopic would look like but I predict it will absolutely glamorize his fucked-up relationships with women (or, you know, girls) (UGH GROOSSSSSS).

    (let me just say that I don’t think liking his writing makes you a terrible person because his style can certainly be affecting, but also – there’s so much better, non-misogynist literature out there, maybe you should go read some Margaret Atwood or some Gore Vidal instead.)

    • Thanks for the review! I will avoid it.

      For the record, A Perfect Day for Bananafish is a very good story. As are The Laughing Man and Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut. I don’t remember mysoginy etc in those — or in Catcher, for that matter, though it’s been 100 years since I read it. (I feel a need to stand up for him cuz he did some amazing stuff!) As for concentration camps, he was part of a troop that liberated one of the camps and it left him fuuuuUUUUuuucked up, so, arguably relevant.

      Also, to be fair, almost all writers are pathetically obsessed with the New Yorker! Even the ones who are not are pretty much pathetically obsessed with not being obsessed with it.

  22. I think the kids from Diiv have way too much hair and are also too busy doing heroin right now.

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