Zoey Deutch joins Nicholas Hoult in JD Salinger biopic

zoey deutch

Nicholas Hoult was cast last autumn in the J.D. Salinger biopic Rebel In The Rye. He's since been joined by Kevin Spacey, Laura Dern, Brian D’Arcy James and Hope Davis. And latest to the roster is Zoey Deutch.

Director and screewnriter Danny Strong has adapted the film from Kenneth Slawenski’s Salinger biography, J.D. Salinger: A Life. The ambitious aim is to get inside the mind of the secretive writer, including, of course, the writing of his iconic novel The Catcher In The Rye. Rebel will look at Salinger's youth, his time spent in conflict during World War II, finding love, enduring loss and years of rejection letters from The New Yorker, which fuelled chronic writer’s block but also helped him find his voice.

Hoult is Salinger, and Deutch will play Oona O'Neill, daughter of playwrite Eugene O'Neill. The New York socialite and Salinger "enjoyed" a fraught romantic relationship. Spacey plays Columbia professor Whit Burnett, one of Salinger's early mentors.

Strong, who got his start as an actor, has become an accomplished writer of both films and television, scoring two Emmy Awards along the way. He co-created the TV hit Empire with Lee Daniels and directed an episode of the show. Rebel In The Rye marks his debut directing a film. Black Label Media have provided the backing.

There was some thought that shooting would start at the end of last year. That didn't happen and the film remains in pre-production, but the start date must be close now. Expect the film in cinemas sometime next year. We'll next see Hoult in the rather different X-Men: Apocalypse on May 19.