J.D. Salinger documentary: the top-secret film five years in the making

Soon after J.D. Salinger’s death on Jan. 27, DeadlineHollywood.com revealed that screenwriter Shane Salerno (Shaft) had spent the past five years completing a documentary about the reclusive author. Even more remarkable, Salerno was able to keep the film, which features over 150 interviews with people like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, and Gore Vidal, a secret. According to an insider involved with the project, crew members had to sign “CIA-worthy” non-disclosure agreements, and the filmmakers made sure never to give any post-production facility more than 20% of the film to prevent any leaks.

The movie contains interviews with people close to Salinger who have never spoken on camera and it looks at his writing process since 1965, when he stopped publishing. It also features footage of Salinger, materials belonging to him as well as more than 100 photographs of the rarely seen author. There is no word if Salerno got an interview with the mysterious Salinger himself. “There is no PBS-type narrator, no black background or talking heads,” says the source. “The look, sound, and editorial pacing is consistent with a feature film.” As for a premiere date, filmmakers are hoping to take the film to the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Comments (10 total) Add your comment
  • rerun

    Interesting idea if it explains his disappearance and reasons behind it.

  • stella

    1) Being a recluse is not the same as disappearing. 2) you want why, just read some of his books. It explains it in “Catcher in the Rye” alone.

  • jb

    If they didn’t talk to J.D. Salinger, why the secrecy?

  • Coke Obunion

    We can only assume Salinger was a pedophile.

    • Mia

      And, why, why, why would you assume that? This is one of the reasons he was recluse–to get away from the mindless mean drivel.

  • nick

    if you’ve been carried away with his books and short stories, there’s no reason not to watch a film that he no doubt wouldn’t want produced! worst case scenario, it’s a documentary of fans and people who pretend to know him well. if it’s good, you learn! secrecy? because he’s sued the author of an unofficial biography before, without interviews also!

    • Double Negatives

      More! More! More!

  • sm

    assume? Really? We can only assume that you make assumptions based on your own ignorance

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