“The story behind how he came to write the book is unbelievable,” Danny Strong said at the Sundance Film Festival about J.D. Salinger and the creation of The Catcher in the Rye. “It’s this unbelievably powerful story of someone who went to war and was traumatized,” the Rebel in the Rye director and writer added of the famously reclusive author of the classic American novel (watch the full interview above).
Joined by actors Zoey Deutch and Nicholas Hoult, the Empire co-creator was speaking at the Deadline Studio at Sundance 2017 presented by Applegate. Having its world premiere at Park City’s Eccles Theater tonight, the film based on Kenneth Slawenski’s biography J.D. Salinger: A Life is Strong’s feature directorial debut.
Danny Strong On His Sundance Debut With J.D. Salinger Film, Donald Trump & 'Empire' Spinoff
“It felt like a crash course in the ’30s and ’40s,” Deutch — who plays Oona O’Neil, starlet and future wife of Charlie Chaplin, in Rebel — said of making the pic.
Her co-star concurred on the immersive experience in the world and times of Salinger that Strong put together – on the page and on set.
“Danny wrote such a wonderful script for this,” said Mad Max: Fury Road alum Hoult, who plays the iconic writer in the film that has been kept tightly under wraps. “It was so tight and brought around so many interesting aspects of his (Salinger’s) life. The second you read the script you pictured the film perfectly in your mind.”
Rebel in the Rye also screens Wednesday and Saturday at the Robert Redford-founded fest, which runs through January 29.
Visit Deadline throughout the remainder of the festival for breaking news and the scene from Sundance as well as video interviews with movers and shakers and top talent.
Actors, directors, filmmakers and special guests visiting the Deadline Studio at Sundance 2017 enjoyed sweet and savory treats, custom cocktails and more at Applegate’s REEL FOOD CAFE. Find out more about Applegate and their mission to change the meat we eat at www.applegate.com.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.