Practically every high school kid in America is familiar with Catcher in the Rye, one of the most iconic English-language novels of the modern era. But far less is known about its author, the notoriously reclusive J.D. Salinger. Shane Salerno‘s documentary Salinger sets out to change that.

Piecing together photos, documents, and film footage left behind by the writer, along with interviews with his acquaintances, Salinger tries to get to the heart of this enigmatic figure. Along the way, Salerno reportedly made a bombshell discovery. I won’t spoil it here, but feel free to Google around if you’re curious. Hit the jump to watch the latest trailer.

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Briefly: Yesterday we heard that James Cameron had brought in Sarah Connors Chronicles writer Josh Friedman to help script Avatar 2. Turns out, there’s a lot more going on in the Avatar camp than that one personnel addition.

In fact, Fox and Cameron are now officially planning three Avatar sequels. The film trio will be shot in a manner akin to Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth films — that is, all films shooting more or less as one — with release windows planned for Decembers in 2016, 2017, and 2018. We’ve heard before that there could be a fourth film in the series, and Sigourney Weaver recently said that there was a plan to shoot them back to back. Filming begins next year.

In addition to Friedman’s script work on the second film, Cameron has recruited Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of Planet of The Apes) to write the third and Shane Salerno (Salinger) to script the fourth in the expanded suite of sequels. [Deadline]

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we try and understand what some kids from across the pond are saying, find fifteen reasons to keep a positive attitude, shortchange the government on our taxes, keep our hands off ourselves, I give you my one musical recommendation of the year, and find out what J.D. Salinger has been up to all those years in the dark. Read More »


The trailer for Salinger plays like a great thriller, especially with the opening scene establishing the capture of one of very few photographs of reclusive author J.D. Salinger. The man who wrote The Catcher in the Rye withdrew completely from the public eye in the wake of his sensational success. That only enhanced the appeal of the book, and the man, and so the nature of J.D. Salinger has been one of the enduring mysteries of the late 20th century.

Savages screenwriter Shane Salerno, fascinated by Salinger, has worked on this documentary for the past few years, recruiting many recognizable Hollywood types to talk about precisely why many of us are so fascinated with the author. There are some lurid flourishes here meant to draw an audience in — the questions about Salinger’s private life, the effect of the war on his character, and his unpublished works, just for starters.

But those are also the long-unanswered questions about the man, and as always with mysterious creators, there’s the sense that answers could offer some insight into how he did what he did. Whether this doc really offers answers remains to be seen, but if nothing else it may frame the questions in a new way. Read More »

Would you like to see Leonardo DiCaprio playing a WWII-era character raised in Japan, trained as an assassin and playing a part in the political power games of the early ’50s? Warner Bros. is thinking you might, and so the studio is developing a film based on Don Winslow‘s novel Satori, which features exactly that sort of character. Read More »

From Weeds to weed — Demian Bichir is making the move into Oliver Stone‘s world. The director is making Savages, based on the book by Don Winslow. He already has quite the cast lined up: Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson play up and coming pot dealers coerced into working for a drug cartel when their girlfriend O (Blake Lively) is kidnapped. John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Emile Hirsch, Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro are all in the cast, and now Demian Bichir has signed on, too. Read More »

Oliver Stone is assembling Savages, which adapts the book of the same name by Don Winslow and has Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch set to star as best friends and pot growers who get roped into working for a drug cartel when the bad guys kidnap their friend/girlfriend.

Salma Hayek is a possible pick to be the matriarch of the drug cartel, and Benicio Del Toro is now signing on to play the cartel’s enforcer, who sets the kidnapping, and therefore the plot, in motion. Some script work is being done now by Oliver Stone, Don Winslow and Shane Salerno, and there are ongoing discussions with a couple of studios to pick up the project — Universal seems like the likely home right now. [Deadline]

After the break, new gigs for Emma Robers, Kenan Thompson and the new Jason Voorhees, Derek Mears. Read More »

At this time last year, the name Jennifer Lawrence meant very little to casting directors in Hollywood. Now she has an Oscar-nomination under her belt, is about to be a super hero and is set to top line an Oliver Stone movie. Lawrence is in final talks to star in Savages, based on a critically-acclaimed book by Don Winslow that was previously announced to be directed by Stone. She’ll play Ophelia, the simultanious-girlfriend of two marijuana dealers who get caught up in some serious personal and financial trouble. Stone hopes to shoot the film in June and is looking at several A-list actors to play the drug dealers including Leonardo DiCaprio, Aaron Johnson, Tom Hardy, James Franco and Garrett Hedlund. Read more about the project after the break. Read More »

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