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Finally, might we see a Catcher in the Rye film?

06.22.2010

JD Salinger always called his masterpiece, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE “unactable” and wouldn’t let Hollywood touch it. But that might change after his death, as his estate is strapped for cash and his successors could now let those rights go for the right price.

Telegraph has an interesting article about the drama unfolding, and the long history behind Hollywood’s many attempts to craft a CATCHER IN THE RYE film.

In the past, stars have queued up for a chance to play its young anti-hero Holden Caulfield. The list reads like a Who's Who of Hollywood glitterati, including Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Tobey Maguire.

In his lifetime, Salinger rejected attempts by Sam Goldwyn, Jerry Lewis and Billy Wilder to film the novel, along with Elia Kazan's effort to put it on Broadway. More recent requests from Steven Spielberg and Harvey Weinstein were rejected out of hand.

But now after his death, focus turns to the Estate Tax (or Death Tax depending on which political party you’re from), that might wipe out half his inheritance. Also, there’s new focus on a letter he wrote in 1957 that says that the film rights to CATCHER could be a kind of last resort cash flow for his wife and daughter if all other wells ran dry.

He wrote: "It is possible that one day the rights will be sold. There's an ever-looming possibility that I won't die rich. I toy very seriously with the idea of leaving the unsold rights to my wife and daughter as a kind of insurance policy."

Spokesmen for his publishers say there are no current plans to sell the film rights, but with the way the winds are blowing, it might actually be a possibility after all these years.

Extra Tidbit: Salinger was actually a big film fan until his book, Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut, was made into a movie that was a critical and commercial failure.
Source: Telegraph

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