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"On The Road" to Finally Be Made


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'On the Road' soon to be on the screen

Last Updated Fri, 05 Aug 2005 11:38:48 EDT

CBC Arts

Francis Ford Coppola has announced he'll start shooting a movie version of the Jack Kerouac novel On the Road next spring.

Coppola's Zoetrope production company has owned the rights to the seminal road trip novel since 1979, but earlier attempts to work out a script have failed.

This time around, Coppola thinks he's got it right. Director Walter Salles and screenwriter Jose Rivera, who collaborated on 2004's The Motorcycle Diaries will bring On the Road to the screen.

Coppola will be executive producer.

The Motorcycle Diaries was about the political awakening of Ernesto "Che" Guevara during a motorcycle trip across South America.

Kerouac's 1957 novel is about a sleep-deprived journey across America by Kerouac's alter ego Sal Paradise and his hero Dean Moriarty, based on writer Neal Cassady. They crave experience, perpetual motion and jazz, and reject the staid life of most Americans.

The book turned Kerouac into a reluctant spokesman for the Beat Generation.

Billy Crudup may play the Kerouac character, possibly alongside Colin Farrell, but Brad Pitt has also been suggested for the role of Moriarty.

Coppola has tried at least three times previously to get a script that captures the spirit of the novel.

Michael Herr, who wrote the narration for Coppola's Apocalypse Now, worked on a screenplay, as did Barry Gifford and most recently Russell Banks, who wrote The Sweet Hereafter.

"The book is inherently difficult to adapt to the screen, and we've never quite found the right combination of director and writer to do it justice until now," Coppola told The Hollywood Reporter.

Salles's first English-language feature, Dark Water, came to the screen this summer.

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Billy Crudup may play the Kerouac character
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