The J.D. Salinger documentary that has fascinated the literary and media worlds will now have its day before an audience.
Shane Salerno’s “Salinger,” about the reclusive “Catcher in the Rye” author who died in 2010, will be released in theaters on Sept. 6, The Weinstein Co. said Thursday. That positions it for a run at late-summer film festivals that mark the beginning of awards season as well as during the season that follows.
Salerno, most recently a writer and executive producer on Oliver Stone’s drug-trade thriller “Savages,” has also turned the material into a book, while the movie will also air as part of PBS’ venerated “American Masters” series.
Reps for the film said that “Salinger” will feature well over 100 interviews with the author’s inner circle about his life and career, as well as include talks with entertainment personalities such as David Milch and Philip Seymour Hoffman about the influence Salinger had on their work. In a statement, Harvey Weinstein called the movie “a haunting piece of documentary filmmaking.”
Personality-driven documentaries have not always been a natural fit for movie theaters. But there is a seemingly endless reservoir of interest in Salinger, who for most of his career was rarely seen or photographed. Interest in him only seems to have grown as he became an exception in the age of TMZ and increasingly public celebrity lives.
While Salinger’s work is notoriously difficult to film — and the author himself resisted adaptations after his story “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut” was turned into a poorly received emotional potboiler titled “My Foolish Heart” — he’s made an appearance of sorts on the big screen before. The 1980s classic baseball drama “Field of Dreams” included a Salinger-esque figure named Terrence Mann, notably played by James Earl Jones.