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admin / September 13th, 2017

From writer/director Danny Strong, the biographical drama Rebel in the Rye is a fascinating look at the life of legendary writer J.D. Salinger, one of the most renowned and enigmatic authors or our time.
by Christina Radish for Collider

As a young Salinger (played brilliantly by Nicholas Hoult) struggled to find his voice, a failed love affair and his experience fighting on the frontlines of World War II helped inform the creation of his masterpiece, The Catcher in the Rye, but that also came with overnight fame and notoriety that lead him to withdraw from the public eye for the rest of his life.

During this phone interview with Collider, filmmaker Danny Strong and actor Nicholas Hoult talked about the influence of The Catcher in the Rye on so many millions of people, figuring out how to understand someone so mysterious, the importance of casting, reworking the film after screening it at Sundance, and why this movie would never have been made while Salinger was still alive. Hoult also talked about working with Simon Kinberg, who’s gone from producer to director for X-Men: Dark Phoenix, while Strong talked about the challenges of making the TV series Empire, which he co-created with Lee Daniels.

Danny, you’ve talked about seeing a J.D. Salinger biography in a book shop and buying it to read it, but did you have any interest in him, as an author and as a person, prior to that moment?

DANNY STRONG: Well, I loved The Catcher in the Rye in high school. It had been very influential on me, the way the book is influential on millions and millions of people. Also, when I was in high school, he was a major American mystery. There was no internet, and there was this big mystery of, where’s J.D. Salinger? What’s J.D. Salinger doing? What is her writing? So, when I saw this biography, I very naively was surprised that there was even enough information publicly known about him to write a whole biography. I was like, “What is this about? How did this guy do that? I’ve gotta read that! That sounds interesting to me!” That’s exactly why I bought it.

Nick, what was your first experience with J.D. Salinger’s work?

NICHOLAS HOULT: My first experience was with The Catcher in the Rye, as well. I hadn’t read many of his other works before researching for this, but I read the script and just loved it. The insight that Danny provided through that, but also the connection to the character and an understanding of him got me intrigued. I wanted to learn more, so I went back and read all of his other works and re-read Catcher. I studied biographies about him and tried to learn as much as possible.

It seems like a dream role for any actor, but what were the biggest challenges and what were your biggest fears, in playing J.D. Salinger?

HOULT: The biggest fear is that everyone has an idea of J.D. Salinger in their mind, even though there’s not really any videos or recordings of him. It’s this strange thing where you’re creating a character that people have very strong feelings about. You can’t prove to be right or wrong through impressions or things that people actually know exist. It’s about getting a real understanding of who the person was and what they stood for. With Salinger, it was his honesty and his dedication to not compromising with this art, and then how the war affected him. I just loved getting an understanding of him through learning about him, and then trying to translate that into the character.

Danny, at what point in the process did you realize that Nicholas Hoult was your J.D. Salinger?

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admin / May 3rd, 2016

Nicholas has been spotted on the set of “Rebel in the Rye” in Brooklyn, New York on April 27. Nicholas portrays J.D. Salinger. Photos have been added to our gallery!

Gallery Links:
Film Productions > Rebel in the Rye (201?) > On set – April 27, 2016

admin / March 10th, 2016

It is being reported that Zoey Deutch has joined Nicholas in “Rebel in the Rye”.

Nicholas Hoult was cast last autumn in the J.D. Salinger biopic Rebel In The Rye. He’s since been joined by Kevin Spacey, Laura Dern, Brian D’Arcy James and Hope Davis. And latest to the roster is Zoey Deutch.

Director and screewnriter Danny Strong has adapted the film from Kenneth Slawenski’s Salinger biography, J.D. Salinger: A Life. The ambitious aim is to get inside the mind of the secretive writer, including, of course, the writing of his iconic novel The Catcher In The Rye. Rebel will look at Salinger’s youth, his time spent in conflict during World War II, finding love, enduring loss and years of rejection letters from The New Yorker, which fuelled chronic writer’s block but also helped him find his voice.

Hoult is Salinger, and Deutch will play Oona O’Neill, daughter of playwrite Eugene O’Neill. The New York socialite and Salinger “enjoyed” a fraught romantic relationship. Spacey plays Columbia professor Whit Burnett, one of Salinger’s early mentors.

Strong, who got his start as an actor, has become an accomplished writer of both films and television, scoring two Emmy Awards along the way. He co-created the TV hit Empire with Lee Daniels and directed an episode of the show. Rebel In The Rye marks his debut directing a film. Black Label Media have provided the backing.

There was some thought that shooting would start at the end of last year. That didn’t happen and the film remains in pre-production, but the start date must be close now. Expect the film in cinemas sometime next year. We’ll next see Hoult in the rather different X-Men: Apocalypse on May 19.

admin / January 24th, 2016

Variety is reporting that Kevin Spacey is joining Nicholas in his upcoming film “Rebel in the Rye”.

Kevin Spacey is set to co-star with Nicholas Hoult in the Black Label Media pic “Rebel in the Rye,” which revolves around the life of author J.D. Salinger.

Danny Strong is writing and directing the pic.

Based on the Kenneth Slawenski biography “J.D. Salinger: A Life,” the story follows Salinger as he prepares to write his classic novel “Catcher in the Rye.” Spacey will play Whit Burnett, a professor at Columbia and editor of Story Magazine. He became a mentor and was the first to challenge the young Salinger, inspiring him to grow as a storyteller.

Black Label Media is financing and Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill are producing alongside Bruce Cohen, Jason Shuman and Strong. BLOOM began selling foreign rights at Toronto and CAA is repping North American rights.

Spacey can be seen next in the fourth season of “House of Cards,” which premieres March 4 on Netflix. He can also be seen playing Richard Nixon in the Liza Johnson-directed “Elvis & Nixon.” He’s currently filming “Billionaire Boys Club” and “Baby Driver,” both of which star Ansel Elgort. Spacey is repped by CAA and Joanne Horowitz.

admin / August 31st, 2015

Nicholas Hoult will star as J.D. Salinger in the biopic “Rebel in the Rye,” with Danny Strong directing from his own screenplay.

The script was adapted from the Kenneth Slawenski biography “J.D. Salinger: A Life.” Black Label Media is financing, with Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill producing alongside Bruce Cohen, Jason Shuman and Danny Strong.

Bloom will introduce “Rebel in the Rye” to foreign buyers at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival, while CAA is representing the North American rights.

The movie will explore the life and mind of the secretive author and tell the story of the birth of “The Catcher in the Rye.” The story will explore his rebellious youth, his experiences on the bloody front lines of World War II, enduring great love and terrible loss, a life of rejection to the pages of the New Yorker and his writer’s block — which led to a spiritual awakening.

“’The Catcher in the Rye’ is a classic coming-of-age story which continues to make a significant impression six generations later,” said Alex Walton of Bloom. “The world has long been fascinated with J.D. Salinger, whom the talented Nicholas Hoult will bring to life in this enigmatic role.”

Strong is known best for creating the series “Empire.” His screenplay credits include “The Butler,” the two “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” films and the HBO films “Recount” and “Game Change.”

Hoult’s credits include “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

He also stars in the upcoming sci-fi romance “Equals” alongside Kristen Stewart, Guy Pearce and Jacki Weaver. The film, directed by Drake Doremus, will world premiere in the international competition section at the Venice Film Festival and will have its North American premiere in the Special Presentations program at the Toronto Film Festival.

The Weinstein Company announced in 2013 that it was working with Shane Salerno on developing a feature film adaptation of Salerno’s documentary about the author with a focus on Salinger’s life between his military service in World War II and the 1951 publication of “Catcher in the Rye.”

Salerno began working on the documentary in 2004. Salinger died in 2010. The documentary grossed $650,000 for TWC in 2013.

Hoult is represented by UTA, 42 and Felker Toczek.

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Current Projects
The Favourite (2018)
Nicholas as Robert Harley
Follows the political machinations behind the scenes during the reign of Queen Anne, the last monarch of the House of Stuarts.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2018)
Nicholas as Hank McCoy/Beast
Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn it into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world.

The Current War (2017)
Nicholas as Nikola Tesla
Electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse compete to create a sustainable system and market it to the American people.

Tolkien
Nicholas as J.R.R. Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien, a love lorn soldier, draws from an epic life on his return from the Great War to create one of the greatest works of literature in “The Lord of the Rings”.

Sand Castle (2017)
Nicholas as Pvt. Matt Ocre
Set during the occupation of Iraq, a squad of U.S. soldiers try to protect a small village.

Newness (2017)
Nicholas as Martin
In contemporary Los Angeles, two millennials navigating a social media-driven hookup culture begin a relationship that pushes both emotional and physical boundaries.

Rebel in the Rye (2017)
Nicholas as J.D. Salinger
The life of celebrated but reclusive author, J.D. Salinger, who gained worldwide fame with the publication of his novel, The Catcher in the Rye.

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