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Kevin Spacey to mentor Nicholas Hoult in J.D. Salinger biopic

Kevin Spacey in the upcoming Elvis & Nixon

Because origin stories aren’t just for superheroes, J.D. Salinger is set to receive his own film detailing his life prior to becoming the guy who wrote Catcher In The Rye and fucking hated having his picture taken. Nicholas Hoult is already set to play the young wannabe writer in the ridiculously titled Rebel In The Rye, and now Deadline reports the film has added Kevin Spacey, possibly in a bid to capture the tweener obsession with the guy who narrated the PBS American Masters installment about Johnny Carson.

Danny Strong wrote and will direct the script adapted from Kenneth Slawenski’s biography J.D. Salinger: A Life, which follows the trajectory of Salinger’s life in advance of penning his most famous book. Spacey is set to play Whit Burnett, a professor at Columbia and editor of Story magazine, who “became a mentor and was the first to challenge the young Salinger, inspiring him to grow as a storyteller.” Not since Spacey taught Jim Sturgess how to count cards in 21 has there been such a Spacey-like mentoring scenario on film, although that could change when he plays a mentor role in Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver. He’s also appearing in Billionaire Boys Club, starring in season four of House Of Cards, and voicing a character in the animated Boss Baby, not to mention taking over as head of Relativity Media after the studio declared bankruptcy last year. He’s a busy guy, is the general point here, though apparently not so busy that he can’t still shoot car commercials.


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