Nicholas Hoult has been confirmed to play J.D. Salinger in the upcoming biopic, Rebel in the Rye. Danny Strong is set to direct the biopic, as well as adapt the screenplay from Kenneth Slawenski’s biography of the American author, J.D. Salinger: A Life. Strong has been an active presence in both film and television, writing the screenplays for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Parts 1 and 2 and Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and co-creating as well as writing several episodes of TV’s hit musical-drama series on Fox, Empire.
The film will explore Salinger’s youth and early years as a struggling writer, leading up to his classic 1951 novel about teenage angst and rebellion, The Catcher in the Rye. At the height of literary fame, Salinger chose to become a recluse.
Hoult’s recent films include Mad Max: Fury Road, Dark Places, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: First Class, and A Single Man. He co-stars with Kristen Stewart in the forthcoming sci-fi romance, Equals. Black Label Media will finance the film, with Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill, Thad Luckinbill, Bruce Cohen, and Jason Shuman producing alongside Strong. The project will be presented to potential buyers at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.