There were rumors – and I can’t back these up – that director Walter Salles was unhappy with his latest film, Dark Water. Which makes sense, as it mostly sucked. But the guy has real talent, as his wonderful The Motorcycle Diaries shows. And now he’s getting back on the road with another hard travelling picture – the long awaited adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.
Truman Capote once infamously said of the book, "That’s not writing, that’s typing," and in my youth I was wont to agree with him. But I rediscovered the book late in life and fell in love with the romance of travel, and with the characters of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty. Sure, the book is meandering and sort of formless and indulgent, but there’s something in the heart of it that is true and right and makes me want to pack up a couple changes of clothes and head out the door.
Salles will be reteaming with Diaries writer Jose Rivera. American Zoetrope is producing – for some time I harbored the hope that Coppola himself would direct, would come out of his stasis period with a classic, but I know that won’t happen. If the project had to go to someone else, I’m glad it’s Salles, who already helmed one of the great road movies in history.