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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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.┬áThere 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to draw an audience in — the questions about Salinger’s private life, the effect of the war on his character, and his unpublished works, just for starters.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 »