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Chris Cooper set to play J.D. Salinger in 'Coming Through the Rye'

Chris Cooper is set to take on the role of author J.D. Salinger in the upcoming feature film Coming Through the Rye. According a press release, the film, which is already in production, is written and directed by Jim Sadwith and will tell “a coming-of age drama set in 1969 involving two teenagers, Alex Wolff and Stefania Owen, as they search for J. D. Salinger.”

The story is based on Sadwith’s own quest to find the reclusive author, as well as his personal encounters with Salinger. The press release continued: “The story is about a sensitive boy, a quirky girl and the road they travel to find not only Salinger but also friendship and the truth about themselves.”

There’s no word yet on when the film will be released.

Danny Strong to direct Salinger biopic

Danny Strong, the screenwriter who penned the scripts for The Butler and the next two Hunger Games films, will make his directorial debut with Salinger’s War.

As first reported by the Hollywood Reporter, Strong had optioned Kenneth Slawensk’s biography about the Catcher in the Rye author, J.D. Salinger: A Life, and wrote the screenplay on spec. The adaptation will focus on a younger Salinger, an ambitious New York writer who is pulled into World War II after Pearl Harbor and encounters horrors in Europe that will forever change him and his writing.

Strong won two Emmys for the HBO movie Game Change, and fans of Mad Men know him as the diminutive Danny Siegel, who famously popped Roger Sterling in the groin. As an actor, Strong also had memorable runs on Gilmore Girls and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Filmmaker Shane Salerno, who directed a recent documentary about Salinger, is currently working on a rival biopic with The Weinstein Company.


J.D. Salinger biopic on the way, based on 'Salinger' documentary


Though reviews have been mixed, director Shane Salerno’s documentary about The Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger is extremely cinematic, and imagining a feature film about the mysterious recluse, who passed away in 2010, is irresistible. It turns out you won’t have to wait long. The Weinstein Company, which distributed Salinger and today announced plans to insert new footage into the doc when it expands Sept. 20, is collaborating with Salerno on a separate narrative film that focuses on Salinger’s life between World War II and the 1951 release of The Catcher in the Rye, which made Salinger a literary sensation.

That particular period of Salinger’s life is the crucible that many scholars believe formed everything that came afterward, from his literary work to his aggressively reclusive nature. Salinger stormed the beaches of Normandy in June 1944 and witnessed brutal carnage and atrocities that culminated in the liberation of German concentration camps. Salerno’s documentary attempts to connect the dots between those traumatic experiences and the formation of Holden Caulfield, Catcher‘s teenage narrator who sneers at a world of “phonies.”

'Salinger' trailer features Edward Norton, Martin Sheen, more celeb fans -- VIDEO

“We all like a mystery,” says a voice in the just-released trailer for Salinger, the first major documentary that attempts to illustrate Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger’s life after he retreated from the public eye in 1965.

Directed by Savages scribe Shane Salerno, Salinger promises revealing, never-before-seen photographs and interviews with people close to the late, reclusive author. It’s also sprinkled with celebrity interviews as well, including Martin Sheen, Danny DeVito, Edward Norton and John Cusack.

Over nine years in the making, The Weinstein Company released the first trailer for the documentary on Thursday. Its tense style paints a picture of Salinger’s cultural impact and speculates why, perhaps, that was too much of a burden for him. Check it out after the jump:

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