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Kristen Stewart confirms role in film adaptation of Kerouac’s “On the Road”


By Kim Palacios

USA Today’s Susan Wloszczyna got the scoop while chatting with Kristen Stewart at this morning’s taping of Oprah. Stewart excitedly confirmed to the writer that she has accepted a part in the film adaptation of “On the Road”.

Viewed by many as the quintessential tale of the Beat generation, Kerouac’s 1957 work is an American classic. Its portrayal of Kerouac’s own Beatnik experience, which rejected social norms of materialism while embracing taboos around sexuality and drugs, earned the work enduring recognition. In 2005, TIME Magazine critics Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo named it among the 100 Best American Novels written since 1923, calling it “the book that launched a thousand trips”.

Stewart will be playing the role of Marylou, who is believed to be based on real-life associate of Kerouac, Luanne Henderson. The Encyclopedia of Road Subculture describes Henderson as “one of the earliest of the Beat muses” who did much to “inspire and inflame the passions of Kerouac”. She was married to well-known Beatnik, Neal Cassady, for a time, until they had their marriage annulled so he could marry his pregnant girlfriend. Described as “beautiful with long curly hair, blue eyes and a wild spirit”, her character features prominently in “On the Road” and under other aliases in Kerouac’s other works.

So, when can we see it? We’re far away from a date, though IMDB Pro lists the film as in pre-production with a predicted release in 2011. Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries) will direct; Jose Rivera (Letters to Juliet, The Motorcycle Diaries) will write the adapted screenplay; Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now) will produce.

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Questions? Tips? E-mail me! kpblog@hollywoodnews.com

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