Catcher in the Rye

Nowadays, you’d be hard-pressed to find a book that hasn’t already been made into a movie and/or been optioned to do so.

Entertainment Weekly’s Gilbert Cruz details the bumpy production paths of several long-in development film adaptations of classic novels. Don’t hold your breath for John Kennedy Toole’s Pulitzer Prize-winning A Confederacy of Dunces (a version starring Will Ferrell has stalled in development); Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (a scriptless Francis Ford Coppola production to be directed by The Motorcycle Diaries‘ Walter Salles still needs to be cast); or Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (the producer of last year’s Ray might make it a TV miniseries).

In the meantime, Cruz’s cohort Gregory Kirschling picked four novels he’d like to see on the big screen. Herewith, his production notes:

Henderson the Rain King
by Saul Bellow A millionaire journeys to the African wilds to find himself. Jack Nicholson reportedly wants to play him. Give Jack what he wants. And please keep the great bit about the bear and the roller coaster.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger Of course a movie version could only screw it up. That’s probably why it’ll never happen. Still, we’re curious. Especially if Salinger fan Wes Anderson made it.

The Moviegoer by Walker Percy This is the finest (and most quotable) sad little novel about movie love you’ll ever read. Terrence Malick reportedly wrote a script for it years ago. Shoot that sucker!

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe Poe’s underread novel is a strange and hair-raising seafaring nightmare. David Cronenberg would have a blast with it.

Personally, I would get in line NOW for a Wes Anderson-imagined Holden Caulfield. Which books would you like to see made into movies?