The Screening Room Blog
Friday, September 19, 2008
Who should star in in Walter Salles' 'On the Road'?
LONDON, England -- This week, I had the luck to meet Brazilian filmmaker and one of the leaders of the revival in fortunes of Latin American film, Walter Salles, who was in London promoting his latest film "Linha de Passe," which he co-directed with Daniela Thomas.

Set in Sao Paulo, the film is a beautiful, if bleak story of four brothers from four different fathers and their pregnant, chain-smoking, heavy-drinking mother. They are part of Brazil's vast underclass and are -- in their own ways -- all struggling to beat destiny and forge a different, better future for themselves.

What's really interesting about this film in the context of Brazilian filmmaking right now is that it refuses to glamorize the violence of favela life in the way that films such as "City of God" and this year's "Elite Squad" could be said to.

Instead of super-saturated colors and jerky editing, "Linha de Passe" takes a more meditative turn with Salles focusing on the lives and characters of these five people. The grey skies and washed-out palette complement the seemingly hopeless social obstacles they face every day.

I met Salles in Covent Garden and he told me how much he loves London because he gets a chance to see friends, like composer Philip Glass, who he had breakfast with before we met.

Salles struggled through his jetlag saying: "Making a film is like running 1,800 meters and launching a film is like running a marathon." He was completely charming and talked extensively about "Linha de Passe," as well as his upcoming adaptation of Jack Kerouac's cult 50s novel, "On the Road" with Francis Ford Coppola, off the back of his success adapting Che Guevara's early journal in the "The Motorcycle Diaries."

I asked him about the difficulties of adapting such a cult novel and if he's confident he can satisfy the book's dedicated fans.

"That is the same question I had to ask myself when I adapted 'The Motorcycle Diaries,'" he said, "Because obviously there were so many followers of Ernesto Guevara ... and [I tried] to do it in the most authentic manner, and try to be as faithful to the essence of the book as I could, so this is what I will try to bring to 'On The Road.'"

He wasn't giving away much about who he has in mind to play the two lead roles in the film. When I asked him if he had any ideas, in the collaborative way that has made him such a star of Latin cinema, he said, "Not yet, you wanna help me?"

So let's lend Salles a hand: Who do you think should play Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty in "On the Road"?

Linha de Passe is out in UK cinemas now.

-- From CNN's Mairi Mackay

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a slimmed down, fit robert downey jr. has the charisma, delivery and charm that would be perfect for dean...moriarty had an electric and attractive personality few can capture. slimmed down 20 pounds, i think downey would be terrific...

as far as sal is concerned, why not go with someone likable yet still gritty enough to stay true to kerouac's vision of himself: daniel craig?
Downey is way way way too old.
This is not a movie.
Leave it alone.
I don't want to see Dean spinning around in a wheat field as the the camera does a dolly swivel around him. Please.
Who should play Sal? Your imagination.
I would like to see Viggo Mortensen as Kerouac and Brad Pitt as Moriarty.
Keven spacey. (Viggo and Brad? Please)
I think everyone needs to read the book again. The book was written in 1951 when Kerouac was 29 to recount his travels with Neal Cassady in the late 1940's. This would make the characters of Sal paradies and Dean Moriarty about 25 years old. Robert Downey Jr., Brad Pitt and Viggo Mortensen are all too old for the parts.

I Think Emile Hirsch, from "Into The Wild" and Shia Lebeouf from "Disturbia" would be much better choices. Both about the right age and btoh excellent actors.
Matthew McConaughey has always reminded me of Neal Cassady (Dean Moriarty). Don't know if he has the acting chops to pull it off, though...
Throw a couple Jonas brothers into that movie. Oscar gold.
Christopher Walken as Sal and Paul "Pee Wee Herman" as Dean.
except for johnny depp as bill burroughs, unknowns should be cast as the lead characters - big name actors will be a distraction - burroughs was older, but kerouac and cassady were only in their mid-twenties in 1947 - nick stahl is relatively unknown and might make a good kerouac
Johnny Depp as Sal....Kerouac is the hard part to cast. Might want to go with an unknown on that one.
someone younger than downey or pitt. someone unknown or like billy cruddup for sal. i'd peersonally like to have a 'who's that guy?' feeling with moriarity.
Jon Hamm from Mad Men is a dead ringer for Kerouac / Paradise, and he definitely has the chops to play the part. And I cringe a little as I say this, but Matthew McConaughey would probably make a great Cassady / Moriarty.
leave it alone. this does not need to be a movie. nothing blows up in the whole novel, so who in america would want to see it? Let this be one long koan in my mind.
Dean - James Franco
Sal - Jake Gyllenhaal
Tom Cruise. Seriously.

OK, I'm kidding.
i agree...dont make this treasured book a movie. whats next? the dharma bums ??...come on!
Josh Hartnett said playing Kerouac would be his dream role. I think he'd be a great fit!
The kid who plays Harry Potter as Dean, and the boy that knocked up the girl in Juno as Sal.
This is the worst idea ever. On the Road is not meant to be a movie. Leave well enough alone, please. No film maker, no matter how talented, could ever capture the essence of this book. DON'T DO IT!!!!!
Adrien Brody might make an interesting Sal
Let this go, folks. This does not need to be made into a film. If it must be, then they need to find an unknown - a very young unknown - this is a stream-of-consciousness about a young man.
What about Leo DiCaprio as Dean and Tobey McGuire as Sal?

Scarlett Johannsen could put in a cameo as LuLu, the blonde with the little sumthin sumthin that Dean criss-crosses the country for!
If the insist on doing this movie then PLEASE keep Brad Pitt out of it - UGH. Johnny Depp would be more believable than Pitt. Or better yet, leave it on the page where it belongs and off the big screen.
If they're going to do it, they'd better do it right.

Nathan Fillion for Sal Paradise. He is the spitting image of Kerouac.
Someone like Casey Affleck would be a good Moriarty- charm that could easily wear thin. And how about Ryan Gosling as Sal. He has the smarts and the contemplative nature it would take. But it would depend on their chemistry together in the end.
As sad as it would make me to see one of my all-time favorite novels be put into a movie, I would say Josh Brolin or Emile Hirsch may be a good choices. But I agree, please leave Kerouac alone!
Justin Kirk (Weeds) should play Dean Moriarity
Again, both too old. I'd like to see two unknowns fill the roles. I think that's what the men themselves may have wanted. Surely there's no supply of talent out there.
The Two Coreys.

Hands down.

End of story.
Look at me I'm so jaded.
Don't make it into a movie.
Keep it true to its real meaning.
Hollywood will only ruin it.
Blah blah blah.

The book is overrated anyways. And it's half a century old. Everyone else has grown up.
Sal - Leonardo DiCaprio
Dean - Edward Norton
The novel is, among many other things, about the transition for youth to manhood. Therefore, I think the actor's need to be younger. Ryan Gosling comes to mind and could play either roll with his talent.
OTR will never be a movie.
The only treatment that would do it justice is an HBO miniseries. Actors? Ben Affleck for Sal. And - big surprise - Matt Damon for Dean.
Casey Affleck as Sal. For Dean, I have to agree that Downey Jr. maybe can do it. I would like to see some unknowns in this movie.
johnny depp and leonardo di caprio did beautiful work together in Gilbert Grape. Both are wild-eyed and adventerous enough to pull it off. and how fabulous would it be to see the two of them on such adventures?
20 years ago I would have said Treat Williams and Sean Penn as Sal and Dean respectively.
Please say it ain't so. Kerouac's jazz 'mm prose shouldn't be "adapted," commodified, eaten and digested and blah blah blah. I knew this day was coming, though...Hollywood dismembers and makes hollowed stumps of anything for a few greens. Soon to be followed by Naked Lunch: The Sequel and a heartwarming miniseries about Ginsberg stalking Whitman's fair grocery boys. I'll stay home.
I think the guy from Mad Men would be a good Sal/Kerouac... He looks a lot like him, and has that 'quietude' that would work. Don't know about Dean/Neal, though. That's a tough call. The supporting cast would be tough too, considering who would play the Ginsberg and Burroughs characters. Not an easy movie to cast - or to script - or to film. I'm looking forward to it.
Johnnny Depp as Sal and Brad Pitt as Dean.
Daniel Craig, Brad Pitt and Downey Jr.? Seriously? The search for the authentic needs to be acted out by someone who hasn't lost their authenticity to fame and fortune. Please, anyone but an established Hollywood personality.
You people are all suggesting actors who are WAY too old to play the characters. We're talking college-aged guys here.

If they're determined to make this (and I don't think they should), they should at least go with two young unknowns. Having a "big name" would just be distracting. Does anyone REALLY want to see Shia Labeouf's non-acting in this movie? How about Michael Cera playing himself yet again? I would rather eat glass.
Ryan Gosling might make a good Sal. He seems appropriately blank and shiftless.

As for Dean, it's hard to characterize someone who's that much larger than life.
shoulda been made in '57 with paul newman and ben gazarra
Tom Waits is a natural for this job - either role. He has worked with Coppola before and epitomized the beat generation in his early life and music.
Josh Brolin or Matt Dillon as Kerouac.
Josh Brolin or Matt Dillon as Kerouac
It needs to be unknowns. We are talking about dramatizing the time before the beats had a cultural identity, before they created their name. I think they would all agree that they need to be played by young actors trying to create their own identity. The book defined a movement; let’s find young talent that can define a new generation of actors.

But I agree, I’m very scared to see this book be turned into a movie. However, Kerouac had an appreciation for the arts, if the film is done in a way that makes the audience think and shows us something interesting and new I think it could be somewhat worth it.
George Clooney and Brad Pitt. they'd have the necessary chemistry to pull it off.
I personally think they should get some unknowns to do this role, like myself for Sal Paradise. I think to really capture this role, we need to believe the actors as who they are, like Che in 'Motorcycle Diaries' instead of thinking of Brad Pitt as Brad Pitt. Plus I drink and smoke and love women, so I should get it.
". . . .Philip Glass, with whom he had breakfast. . . ." or if you insist,
". . . .Philip Glass, whom he had breakfast with . . . ."

Either way, the 'whom' is going to be required, because the relative pronoun is the object of the preposition 'with.'

I no longer expect my local newspaper's, or TV station's website to get these kinds of things right--the declining standard of usage is much too pervasive.

But am I naive in thinking that one of the most prestigious newsgathering organizations in the world might still be expected use the English language correctly?
They should be played by unknowns. First, because the characters are very young, but mostly because using well-known actors will invariably bring preconceptions to the characters. Downey and Craig can do Dharma Bums.
emile hirsch and chris evans
No Brad Pitt.
If this abomination MUST exist, keep Brad Pitt way the hell away from it.
Also, that poster brings up a good point: Age. Brad Pitt is a LOT older than people seem to think.
Sam Rockwell as Moriaty (almost perfect, though probably too old) and Paul Dano as Sal.
I watched (unfortunately) the film The Jacket, and Daniel Craig seemed to be a spitting image of Jack in it. From then on I can see no one else playing him but Daniel Craig.
As a big fan of Kerouac's life and work, this is the dream movie for me to direct if ever I became a director. That said, there's no doubt in my mind that unknown actors with enough charisma and motivation should play Dean and Sal. The actors mentioned here are talented in their own right but none of them or other current American actors can fill such a iconic role. If no other choice, then choose someone who could completely disappear in the role ala Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain or Dark Knight. I'm glad Walter Salles is directing, I'm a fan of him too. For the love of God, choose wisely. Casting is everything!
james franco as Sal!!!
Jake Gyllenhaal as Sal (Kerouac)
Dean Moriarty was younger than Sal, maybe Ryan Gosling?
Remember, these guys were young when the book takes place, maybe mid-twenties, so Brad Pitt, Robert Downey, and Daniel Craig are too old to play the part. Its much easier to make someone look older as they become older throughout the story.
Heath Ledger would have made a good Neal I think. Jack? hmmmm, ... I'll think about it (as well as a live actor for Neal) and write back.
Are you kidding? The only cool actor around. Johnny Depp for Neil. Or Sal, for that matter.
Dean- Aaron Eckhart, Sal- Juaquin Phoenix
Sal and Dean were pretty young in On the Road - the names listed so far are way too mature for the role.

How about Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Sal? Bad boy Dean could be played by Shia LeBeouf taking advantage of his new bad boy image.
WAIT! I change my mind. I want Ryan Phillipe as Dean.

No matter what, the movie will just break my heart. Whenever a book is so inspirational, the movie version can never live up to the mind's eye.
No! Please. Do not make this movie.
How can Kerouac's style of writing, that spontaneity, be transferred to the screen? I don't see any way that 'On The Road' can be adapted to film.
Of course, there's always Johnny Depp - versatile as any character and believable enough to not keeping thinking that it's Depp "playing" someone.
JAMES FRANCO as somebody.
Two of America's most overhyped actors should have the primary roles in the film adaptation of one of America's most overhyped books.

Keanu Reeves? Ben Affleck? Are you listening?

Go ahead - waste perfectly good film, the way the publishers of On The Road wasted perfectly good paper.
Viggo?Pitt? I don't know whether to laugh or cry about that comment.
Do you even know what Kerouac & Neal Cassady looked like at that time in their lives? Good god. I suppose you liked Keanu Reeves as Cassady in "the last time i commited suicide"?

I loved the comment "who should play Sal? your imagination." Hell yes-Because the book is best left alone, but they are going to make it so let's just hope this director finds a couple of all-star unknowns that inspire our imaginations.

Once upon a time Paul Newman could have walked right of the set of "The Hustler" & right into the role of Moriarty. He's the only actor I've ever seen even come close to Cassady & he wasn't even playing him. If you don't think so you know nothing of the young Cassady & should watch the Hustler again if you ever have.
Have any of you actually read the book- these were YOUNG guys, like late teens young.
I say Ed WEstwick of Gossip Girl for Sal and Shia Lebouf or Zac Efron for Dean..........
The book was annoying, but as i read it for the first time a few months ago, i did wonder how it would work as a film..........
it could be like this generations "The Outsiders".......
Why not make the movie? It can't be the book, it's going from page to screen, things will change. It may actually be good. If it's long enough, that is. And faithful enough. Personally, I'll never get over the evil done Ayn Rand's 'The Fountainhead,' but that's my own, **IF** they get the casting right, i.e. age-appropriate fellas like Ryan Gosling and James Franco - this could be great. Huge talents, both of whom could pull it off.
Cassady/Moriarty was like 21 or 22 when they went cross country, and half the people on this board want men in their mid-forties to play him. Absurd.

If they cast preening Matthew McConaughey as Dean Moriarty, I swear to almighty god in heaven I will douse myself in gasoline and set myself on fire in the middle of the theater.

Mr. Salles-- I BEG YOU, please use unknowns. DO NOT DISHONER THIS BOOK.
Ryan Gosling and Ben Foster.
If this must be made into a movie....James Franco and Adam Goldberg would have the right energy to play Jack and Neal.
Ryan Gosling. No question. The best example of true acting in Hollywood's vast array of young talent. He will be his generation's Brando or Steve McQueen and what a perfect role for him to make that a rock solid inevitability.
Giovanni Robisi would be a close second. He has shaken off his Gen-X slacker persona and shown that he has the chops to be more than a "Where are they now" of the 90's.
I can play Sal
Jason Mraz and Mos Def...2 word men would crack this story open in wonderful ways.
Johnny Depp !
It's obvious that most of you have never read the book, or if you have, you don't understand it. Most of these actors you propose are WAY too old for the parts. The events of On the Road took place in the late 40s when Kerouac and Cassady were in their early to mid twenties.

No movie can do this book justice. But since it's going to be made, they ought to choose some talented unknowns.

I challenge those who disparage this book to back up their vitriol by proving here that they know what this book is about, or at least relaying a single scene in it.
Jon Hamm is Kerouac/Paradise
Dom DeLouise and Burt Reynolds or Arnold Swartzeneggar and Danny Devito. Brilliant.
I can see Matthew McConaughey as Neal Cassady, definitely, and some other actors in the role of Sal Paradise, but let's face it: this movie should have been made 50 years ago with Elia Kazan or Nicholas Ray directing, starring Montgomery Clift as Paradise and Brando as Cassady. But I think Brando turned down the role back in the day, saying "There's no story." Maybe we should heed him...
It's important to keep in mind that these guys are supposed to be YOUNG. Early 20's young. Travel through the country and conduct open casting calls and use unknowns, or use Paul Dano for Sal and Emile Hirsch or Jontahan Groff (from Spring Awakening and Hair) as Moriarty. Please please no Clooney or Pitt or Depp.
yeah i agree! leave the book alone! but if make it you must, then PLEASE cast it well....

a much younger matthew muhconnahay (sp?!) would have been purrfect to play the fab neal c. its a real hard call to see anyone out there now who's young enough, hot enough, and deep enough to pull off what is really the main character of this book, the arc that the narrative swings around. there are some actors who have some of the qualities but none i can think of who have all the necessary ones. this cat must be magnetic enough to create his own gravity, a real force and not just a manipulative sexual dynamo.

kerouac maybe even tougher to pull off cos he had brooding good looks and deep soul sensitivity which, lets face it, none of the young actors out there today have. young monty clift coulda played him (maybe). a well cast unknown may be best.

for ginsberg, they really need to consider jemaine from flight of the conchords, he actually looks like him and has his sweet soul naivete charisma to boot.

for burroughs, tough call that one, because he was so cultured and had that aristocratic thing going on. its an odd choice but what about ralph fiennes?

that was good suggestion of scarlett johanssen for luanne. who could play caroline cassidy? i suggest katherine heigl (that girl is HOT!!!)

what about huncke? yeah, shia labeouf could go there, if they grease him up a bit.

joan? hmmm, need a woman who can tear into that role like a real shrew. anne hathaway could pull it off, but her good looks would detract from the role. maggie gyllenhaal could probably bring more depth & mystery to the role.

please don't make a cheap sex farce out of this great novel. please don't diminish it's spiritual quest and awakening. this book is real HOLY.
Seth Rogen and Jessie Mcartney

Instant classic
Pee Wee Herman as Dean Moriarity? Genius!

And somebody famous.

I'll wear contacts.
i think that some unkown talented actor(s) should play the characters. it would be more believable to the essence of the book, than to have some high budget actor. Fur - an imaginary portrait of Diane Arbus, was close. but with Downey Jr and Nicole Kidman, seemed too high profile of actors for a movie like that. I'm thinking something more like Factory Girl. most of the actors aside from Jimmy Fallon i had not really heard of.
Ok, nay-sayers, take a breath. I want to note that I say this as a poet, essayist, and long-time admirer of On the Road: if it really disturbs you that this work is being interpreted as cinema, why not simply avoid the movie? Most artists don't scorn the reinterpretation of their work in other genres. In fact, it's such a historical, popular, and respected form of artwork that it has its own term: ekphrasis. The filmmaker, like the writer, is an artist. In suggesting that one artist be denied the chance to interpret the work of another, for an audience to regard very different art forms as somehow equivalent (ie, the film invalidates the novel/the novel obviates the need for a film), we seek the erasure of creative collaboration capable of yielding beautiful, new work. Being There is a terrific novel. And thanks largely to the performance of actor and artist Peter Seller, Being There is a terrific movie. If you don't enjoy both, ignore the movie. But don't suggest that the director doesn't "need" to make the film. What he needs as an artist is far clearer to him than it is to us.
Corey Feldman and Corey Haim.
Matt Dillon as Kerouac. But even better: do NOT make this into a movie. Movies rarely do the book justice.
I agree with the others who have said "leave this alone." This is a horrible idea. Of all the books that should never be made into a film, this would top my list. The subtlety works brilliantly in print, but could not translate on the big screen. It would be passable to include some passages of On the Road as scenes in a film about Keroac's life. That would be an interesting alternative.
The book was cool because of when it was written and the challenges it posed to the society that gave birth to it. If you are going to make it into a movie in 2008 or 2009 update it to challenge us again. The original portrayed a life inconceivabale to most Americans at the time of its writing. Choose unknown actors and an unknown landscape and let this novel be reborn as an explorations of the hang ups and possibilities of a new millenium.
To keep with accurate ages (and I really think this is really important), Paul Dano as Sal and Emile Hirsch as Dean (Emile idea I stole from someone else - these two are good friends in real life and could carry on a good dynamic in the film).
don't screw this one up - it definately needs actors who have wide ranging abilities, so how about johnny depp as dean, and christian bale or emile from into the wild as sal?
kerouac would not have wanted a movie made, and particularly not a sensationalized one. so if you must, pick two unknowns to play dean and sal.

the sensationalism and cultism of "on the road," when it was published and propelled him to idol status, is what destroyed him, and led him to alcoholism. it also pulled him and neal apart.

kerouac would not agree that dean moriarty (neal cassady), his best friend and soul brother, could ever be played by anyone else but neal.
Paradise-Jake Gyllenhaal
Dean-Ryan Gosling
Old Bull Lee-Matt Dylan
Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.

"It's Hilarity on our nation's highways when these two 'dharma bums' make the scene!"

Jon Hamm as Sal and Christian Bale as Dean
Jon Hamm as Sal
Matthew McConaughey as Dean

who's camille?
who's carlo?
Matthew Broderick's already proven that he can't handle "On The Road."
I have a solution for those of you upset that they dare make a film out of On the Road: don't go see it.

See? It's that easy. This isn't some kind of sacred religious text, which will result in true blasphemy if it's not done "perfectly". It's a great novel. If the movie is a piece of junk, so what? The book will still be great. Get over it.
Wow! I never thought the book would be made into a movie! I can't think of actors to recommend, but I don't think Matt Dillon would make a good Bill (to me he just doesn't fit). Still happy to hear the news!
Paris and Nicole
Johnny Depp should play Jack and Mickey Rourke should play Dean
Hey there, rastronomicals. You are a pompous grammar nazi. Maybe you should go and read up on the proper use of the apostrophe and the comma before you start ranting about the decline of the English language.
Michael Pitt / Ryan Gosling
it's all well and good you want to get unknown actors, but if you have unknowns then the movie is labeled "indie" and doesn't get the attention it deserves. the age of the characters plays no role in the story whatsoever, if you cast people like Zac Efron and the like then this basically becomes a made for DVD Disney movie. Shia Lebouf? please. if this was a huge blockbuster film with massive explosions and/or robot aliens, fine. the guy only knows how to play one role: semi-dork thrust in over his head, wide-eyed, frantic. that's all his roles.

i second the nomination for Joaquin Phoenix. Johnny Depp, Joaquin Phoenix and call it a day. since Depp would command too much of a salary, i will instead nominate Phoenix and Sal and John Franco as Neal.
Helllloooo Emile Hirsch!! <3<3
I agree that Jake Gyllenhaal would be great for Sal. and Ryan Gosling looks very similar to Neal cassady, both great actors.
Shia Lebeouf might be good for Sal but im not sure of his acting abilities
Leo D. and Shia LaBeouf.
Okay, here's what they need to do. A) Forget this Brazillian guy as director. Only a great American director like, say, Michael Bay can do it justice. B) Update it for the MTV generation. Kids today don't want to have to "think" about what a movie is saying. Start it off with an explosive action scene, intersperse random gunplay, and show some tits about every 10 minutes. C) Instead of it being a boring 50's road movie, set it in either a college fraternity or a Hong Kong slum. D) Finally, forget these big name actors. What the movie needs are a couple of WWF guys who are ready to make the jump to thespianism.

Follow these tips and you can not fail.

"On The Road- RULEZ" How about that title, eh?
Hey everybody - Kerouac himself sold the film rights to On the Road several times. He talks about it in Big Sur I believe. It's one of the things that kept income coming in for him. So I assume he thought they might eventually make a movie of it. I'm not personally a big fan of the idea, but he didn't seem apposed. It's up to each generation to reinterpret artistic works in a new context.

Besides, they couldn't screw it up any worse than the hack-fest that was the Lord of the Rings movies...ugh.
Why the impassioned pleas to not make the film? If you don't like the medium, don't see the film. Making the film doesn't change the book, no matter how good/bad it turns out.

If anything, a film version perhaps draws a new audience to the book that otherwise may never have heard about it. The "no, no, don't share my precious novel" attitude is a cynical and egotistical view that goes against the very spirit of "On the Road" in the first place.
Casey Affleck would be great in the role of Sal Paradise, and Jake Gyllenhaal could be a good choice for Dean Moriarty. Moriarty has to be captivating.

Milo Ventimiglia could be a stellar Sal Paradise too. He's a talented actor that should be given a shot.
Kerouac would be horrified if hollywood folks like Matthew McConaughey portrayed his characters. Anyone who has been an A-list actor for a number of years is too far removed from the reality of real life struggles and grit to be able to pull off the depth of Dean and Sal. So unless they can get Adrien Brody... someone like Casey Affleck and James Franco would be awesome.
For sure Viggo Mortensen...a Zen natural
michael cera in five years
ricky gervais as sal & eugene levy as Ms. Daisy.
Kerouac wanted a movie made, wanted Brando as one of the leads. The Subterraneans movie was a diluted and charicaturized disaster, but Salles will have reverence for the material.
I'd say unknowns would be best, but think Emile Hirsch and Nick Stahl would work.
Comment about Newman and Gazarra was good, would have worked in late 50's.
A movie about Kerouac late stage (died at 47) could cast Daniel Craig. A few years ago could have cast Treat Williams.
patrick fugit (almost famous/saved) as sal and milo ventimiglia (heros, gilmore girls) as dean.
I'd just rather they didn't make this movie... I don't think it will translate well... And, I fear what they will change. Cause they always change something. And they think it is a "little" change and they don't realize that it affects such an important part of the story. It always happens and it always sucks.
James McAvoy as Sal Paradise.
Forget about the actors. Who is going to write the screenplay? Who is going to condense Jack's brilliant vision into 90 minutes for short-attention-span America? Who has the arrogance to believe that this complex novel could ever be turned into a film?

Depp is great and would be great, if he wanted it, as Dean. But unkowns would be a better call. If they cast either Pitt or Cruise I will personally seek out the processing lab and burn every copy produced.
Leave this book alone. I hate movies - never go to them. They're all idiotic, full of gratuitous something or other, moron actors and bimbo actresses, and made to make money and not to make art. I am sick of contrived love interests for the chick flick people, and sex and violence put in movies to bring in the idiot male 12-40, uh, 50, uh 60, 70, 80??? demographic. Sick of action action action and no development of character. Sick of stupid juvenile bathroom humor and sound effects. You will make a mockery of this book, mockery of literature in general. LEAVE IT ALONE. Do you have to ruin every good book that's out there? Stick to those really bad remakes of really bad 60s and 70s TV shows and leave literature alone. Fools.
Ryan Phillipe and Josh Duhon
Vincent Chase and Johnny Drama
"You and me Cassidy"
It's a novel that should not be touched! I think Jack Kerouac himself would be turning over in his grave to know that this would be a possibility.
Clifton Collins, Jr. as Sal, please.
Oh gracious,
I agree: James McAvoy as Sal. But try Owen Wilson as Dean. The last time I read it I remember thinking he'd be your man if they made it a film.
Viggo Mortensen and the dude from Cottonmouth, Texas
cgi....... send it to Lucas and have him make up some actors. Sal and Dean get abducted by aliens in the middle of the night on their way to NYC on some middle of nowhere road, they're swept into an galaxy wide military struggle for control over the zirconium mines orbiting an expanding red giant star, movie ends... with option for sequels. Viewer is left to wonder whether it's all a hallucination. Let's face it, by the time this movie makes it to the theater, we'll be bashing flesh eating zombies in the skull with golf clubs in our flight out of the rapidly disintegrating population centers. 'on the road' is no longer relevant.
Please select two virtually unknown actors, possibly with experience in the theatre, esp. for Dean Moriarty. He should have a dynamic personality and a rugged look. Nothing too memorable coming from Dean's physical appearance, but he must definitely have a grand personality. Sal should be somber and sad. His face should speak this.
Please select two virtually unknown actors, possibly with experience in the theatre, esp. for Dean Moriarty. He should have a dynamic personality and a rugged look. Nothing too memorable coming from Dean's physical appearance, but he must definitely have a grand personality. Sal should be somber and sad. His face should speak this.
Please Please .. no big names Walter . I've grown tired of films featuring the same big players and Kerouac/Cassidy are too important to tarnish . No Pitt , No McConaughey , No Pitt . Hell , I'm look more like Kerouac than them ! Do it right :)
Johnny Depp as Sal and Thomas Jayne as Moriarty,
I would strongly caution any movie maker against hiring whoever is "big" right now to play these complex characters.

First we have to look at the real life people who these characters are based on. Sal Paradise = Jack Kerouac and Dean Moriarty = Neal Cassady.

Fine. Looking at Jack Kerouac and even how he looked, I'd pick James Franco to play Sal Paradise. But James who have to do some serious work. He's a great actor but he still hasn't broken out of his own skin yet.

Dean Moriarty is a tougher call. The first person that comes to mind to play Dean is Matt Damon. I really think he could pull it off nicely.

Second pick for Sal might be Casey Affleck, but again like James he would really have to do some work.

Second pick for Dean and I'm picking him based on his looks and his acting ability is Jason Biggs. I think it would be worth any directors while to at least call Jason in for casting.
Saner minds might well agree, leave it alone, and yet we can't resist the temptation to 'see' Kerouac's vision played out. For Sal- I vote for Adrian Brody and Dean, Michael Richards (oops a little too old) how about Shia LeBeouf
If Hollywood is compelled to make a movie, I'd love to see Joaquin Phoenix cast in some way. He has yet to receive the recognition he deserves.
just don't do it.

but jake gyllenhaal or kieran culkin would make good a good sal. i think.

but dont do it.
a highly overrated book becomes an over analyzed and overrated film. gee, now that's never happened before.
This book, to me, is far too significant to ever be made into a movie. Even if the film was 3 hours in length, it could never come close to capturing the essence of Jack Kerouac's telling of the story. "On the Road" is far too complex to be made into a relevant film, and the film would only serve to leave those who never read the novel to shake their heads, wondering "What was that all about?" On the flip side, although reading novels other than the latest romance or true crime or military intrigue genres seems to be in the decline in our country, maybe the film could intigue some people to actually read "On the Road". and that, my friends, would be a wonderful thing.
Drake & Josh. No question ;)
No one other than Johnny Depp for Sal Paradise. He is a huge OTR/Kerouac fan. For Dean Moriarity my first thought is Nic Cage (mostly for his resemblance to Neal Cassidy.) Another option is Vitto Mortensen.
Here's a thought..since the best (Downey, etc) are too about finding some "unknowns"..there have to be some new faces out there with the zing of our "aging favorites" .. there was a time when you could count on the "favorites stable" but now the talent commodity seems to be the old "dime a dozen"..beat the bushes and find more new faces. remember AMERICA'S GOT TALENT AND IDOLS, RIGHT?
Without a doubt, I think this role belongs to Johnny Depp. I thought of him immediately.
Johnny Depp would be a good choice for one of the characters. He can morph into just about anyone and I know he's been quoted for his interest in the book.
The Jonas brothers...come on.
Think a bit about the book...
I don't think Dean wore a promise ring.
Shia LaBeouf and Michael Cera.

I like the idea of Jonny Depp and Brad Pitt...but they are a bit older for the roles.
barak obama as dean M. . Sal PARADISE. Biden of course!

sarah palin could play the gas station attendants girlfriend whom dean makes out with a field at night.. and leaves her there.
The way I see it is that the actors can't be bigger than the characters themselves, so people like brad pitt and such are absolutely out of the question. I wouldn't say the actors should be unknown, but they should definitely be somewhat young. I did like suggestions such as emile hirsch and ryan gosling and even shia leboufe for that matter. Jake gyllenhal is a good choice as well..
Viggo Mortenson is nearly 50 years old!!!! You have got to be joking!!! Even Matthew McConaughey is far to old for this (and he lacks the depth as an actor).

Read the book people. Then you'll know that Kerouac & Cassady were in their early to mid twenties for this story. They must pick young unknowns if this movie has a chance.
Yes, it has to be two young guys and although James Franco has something of the look (at that age) he doesn' t have the air of danger and transgression Kerouac projected.

The obvious fit in pretty well every respect is Colin Farrell -- Kerouac's dark brooding looks, sensitivity, brute power and danger. And good at the carousing.

Dean Moriarty is a tougher call. Kerouac clearly saw him as super-cool. DiCaprio would be a solid choice: he does manic very well.
please dont commercialize jack to be chewed up by the masses. leave it be. there is too much in that novel to be fit into a feature film. My suggestion is to do something like "im not there" did with bob dylan.
Ben Whishaw (Sal) and Christian Bale (Dean)
I could certainly see James Franco as Dean. Clifton Collins, or maybe Dexter Fletcher.
Oh, completely forgot about Ryan Gosling and James McAvoy - both would likely be quite well suited.
me! I am into acting- and have traveled via rail for over 10 years....hitchhiking, riding bicycles all over 30+ countries. check out my road profile on digihitch (dot) com. My username is sunsetroute
JAMES FRANCO as Sal-END of STORY. Chris Isaak as Dean OR Brad Pitt as Dean. Matt Dillon as Bull Lee.
MR T as Sal and Tom Cruise dressed in drag as Dean. They say he went both ways anyhow so why not? Wear enough makeup and Tom will look 25 again.
Leave it alone...not every book has to become a movie.
Please not Brad Pitt!

This sounds like a good vehicle for some young, unknown actors to catapult themselves into fame.

Unfortunately, the culture has change so dramatically that it's hard to see a savory young man hitchhiking across country now. It will be difficult to capture the beat era without implying that the beats were a bunch of hippies, which they weren't.

(My father was busted for smoking pot back then, something I didn't find out till after he died. I wonder if he was a beatnik? It's not impossible.)
Most of your choices are fascinating, but I have to agree with the other commentators who say that the book should be left alone. Don't make a movie. This is the kind of book that can't be translated to the screen. People who see it and haven't read the book or know the history of the Beats will think it's just a silly road trip movie.
George Clooney, Harrison Ford, and Sean Connery
Ryan Gosling. More obvious, looks-wise, as Dean, but I think he has the quiet soulfulness to play Sal.
I think that Jude Law would make a great Dean. Or use the original Home Alone actor, what's his name?
Gary Coleman and Flava flave

And then when they decide they could squeeze another buck fifty out of the Dharma Bums, Charles Barkley could be Japhy Ryder.

Throw snoop dog in, some added jokes about 40s, blunts and skeetin', and youve got straight to DVD gold.

Michael Richards as Dean and Jerry Seinfeld as Sal!
Casting these characters is beyond the look , The dynamic between them can't be created , their personalities were much too complex and here you have two individuals who were so much alike but so very different , polar opposites and both over charged with their own charisma and both broken mold American prototypes . If this film is indeed made - that's what needs to be captured , if not the whole deal will flop miserably .
I think it's amusing that so many people are outraged that this classic novel is being made into a movie. As others in this post have said, if you don't like it, don't see it. Just because you don't want this to be made into a movie, doesn't meen you appreciate the book from an artistic perspective more than others. Yes, I would agree that the stream-of-conciosness format of the book may pose several problems in the adaptation, but I for one am excited to see what can be done with it. Also, if you've read any of Jack Kerouac's letters to Joyce Johnson, you should know that Jack Kerouac not only wanted "On The Road" to be adapted into a movie, he also envisioned himself acting in it along with Marlon Brando as Dean.
For those of you who are hoping for unknown actors, here is a quote from Walter Salles: "The idea is to work with unknown actors, taking into account the age of the two main characters (21 years). Besides, the film would only be worthwhile if it is done at a low cost, in an independent way. "
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