According to Variety, IFC Films has acquired North American distribution rights to the J.D. Salinger biopic Rebel in the Rye starring Nicholas Hoult (Equals) as the reclusive author. The film title is a twist on Salinger’s most famous book title – The Catcher in the Rye – a 1951 novel which boldly captured teenage angst and alienation. It was controversial in its release but now has been translated into almost all the major world languages, and has sold over 65 million copies, with 1 million copies still selling yearly.
Danny Strong, a screenwriter known for Lee Daniels’ The Butler and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2, makes his feature film directorial debut with this film which he also wrote, based on Kenneth Slawenski’s biography J.D. Salinger: A Life. The story focuses on Salinger’s early writing career and struggles. Zoey Deutch (Why Him?) plays Ooona O’Neill, who dated Salinger before she married Charlie Chaplin. Kevin Spacey (Netflix’s House of Cards) plays a professor at Columbia University. Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave) plays Salinger’s first literary agent. Producers are Strong, Bruce Cohen, Black Label Media, and Jason Shuman.
Rebel in the Rye premiered at Sundance earlier this year and will be theatrically released in the fall.