Thursday, 13, May 2010 08:53
By Lewis Bazley.
US actress Kirsten Dunst has joined the cast of the upcoming film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road, it has been confirmed.
The Spider-Man star joins Twilight's Kristen Stewart, Tron: Legacy actor Garrett Hedlund and British thespian Sam Riley in Walter Salles and Francis Ford Coppola's take on Kerouac's 'Beat Generation' classic.
Motorcycle Diaries director Salles will begin shooting the On the Road film in August, with Coppola producing through his American Zoetrope firm.
Salles began developing the project - based on a novel famed for its complex narrative - in 2005 but struggled to find financial backing for the On the Road film.
A deal has now been agreed with French studio MK2, with Salles saying producers Nathanael Karmitz and Charles Gillibert bring "a vital, fresh, creative look into producing the film, and a very European approach based on their past experiences with independent directors".
The director explained the film's long development will prove an advantage when shooting begins later this year, with Salles also developing a documentary, In Search of On the Road, regarding Kerouac's novel.
"The film greatly benefited from the extra time we had to conceptualise it," he told Variety.
"The unedited scroll version was published recently and inspired a new version of the screenplay written by Jose Rivera that is at the same time more luminous, daring and muscular than the one we had at the start."
Written by Kerouac in three weeks in 1951, and published in 1957, On the Road tells of the semi-autobiographical tale of Sal Paradise's journeys throughout North America, intermittently accompanied by the unpredictable Dean Moriarty - loosely based on Kerouac's friend Neal Cassady - and including encounters with the burgeoning jazz movement and a character inspired by poet Allen Ginsberg.
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