Weinstein Company picks up “Salinger”

The Weinstein Company has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Salinger, Shane Salerno's forthcoming feature doc on Catcher in the Rye author JD Salinger.
March 21, 2013

The Weinstein Company (TWC) has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Salinger, Shane Salerno’s forthcoming feature doc on Catcher in the Rye author JD Salinger.

The film explores the life of the notoriously reclusive author, and was directed and produced by Salerno – who most recently co-wrote and executive produced Oliver Stone’s film Savages – with Buddy Squires and Deborah Randall.

Salinger is the result of interviews with some 150 subjects, including the authors friends, colleagues and “members of his inner circle who have never spoken on the record before,” according to the film’s billing. It also features film footage, photographs and other material that has never been seen.

In addition, the film sees Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, John Cusack, Danny DeVito, John Guare, Martin Sheen, David Milch, Robert Towne, Tom Wolfe, EL Doctorow, Gore Vidal and Pulitzer Prize-winners A. Scott Berg and Elizabeth Frank talk about Salinger’s influence on their lives and their work.

In a statement, Salerno said: “I have the greatest respect for The Weinstein Company and the remarkable quality and consistency of the films they produce. I am honored to be working with them on what is for me an eight year labor of love.”

TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein added: “Shane Salerno has created a haunting piece of documentary filmmaking in Salinger. We are in awe of the painstaking detail used in depicting a man who created truly timeless works of literature, but otherwise remained an enigma for so many years.”

TWC execs closed the deal on the film immediately after they screened it the morning before the Academy Awards last month, the company said, adding that it plans to show the doc at a number of film festivals prior to a limited theatrical release on September 6, which will be followed by “an extensive rollout plan.” PBS holds U.S. television rights for the title, and plans to air it as part of its ‘American Masters’ series.

There is no word yet on which festivals the doc might play, however a September 6 limited release would put the doc in contention for the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals, the latter of which kicks off on September 5.

The deal was negotiated in Los Angeles by David Glasser, Michal Steinberg, Mark Gooder and Jennifer Malloy for The Weinstein Company, with Robert Offer and Shelby Weiser acting on behalf of the filmmakers.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.