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"The only people for me are the mad ones": On the Road Trailer

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | March 12, 2012 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | March 12, 2012 |

On the Road is one of those movies that really just isn’t going to be able to win. Kristen Stewart hasn’t exactly demonstrated an ability to pull those 100 million Twilight fans into a movie without sparkling vampires, and yet the mere association is going to get criticism from some folks. And of course it’s an adaptation of a legendary Kerouac novel, which means that it has about a three percent chance of actually being able to live up to the source material no matter how fantastically everything else manages to go off. But I’m being overly cynical here perhaps, such a film’s measure of success isn’t going to be the box office, and the goal isn’t to surpass the source novel so much as to faithfully capture something of its essence on the screen.

Here’s the film’s trailer:

That’s the usual old montage of period stuff for the most part, but it hooks in deep with the last twenty seconds when it returns to the famous words from the novel. That’s a good sign, because more than anything it’s that prose that reads as poetry that makes Kerouac so enduring. If the film trusts that, if it can somehow make the words the center, it might just work.

There still is no official American release date though the film is completed and loosely slated for sometime this year. Overseas it is variously scheduled from late May to early September throughout Europe. It would be vaguely hilarious for one of the most American of novels to get a wide release in Europe before it sees the light of day in the states, though that’s probably unlikely. My guess based on nothing in particular would be that this is going to get an early May release so that it avoids the worst of just disappearing amongst the summer blockbusters.

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.