Bruce Cohen Talks Producing Rebel In The Rye Biopic, Cast And Release Date

Bruce Cohen is on a roll this year.

Last spring, the Oscar-winning producer had the premiere of When We Rise on the ABC network.

Always looking forward, Cohen is preparing the release of his next film project, Rebel in the Rye.

The movie is a biopic of J.D. Salinger. The cast includes Nicholas Hoult as Salinger, Kevin Spacey, Zoey Deutch, and Victor Garber.

Cohen knew about The Catcher in the Rye, but he was not as familiar with Salinger. While doing research, Cohen would discover the man behind Holden Caulfield was quite a character in his own right.

Bruce Cohen

“I didn’t know a lot about J.D. Salinger,” he says. “So it’s been a great journey for me to learn about his incredible life and his contribution to American literature.”

Rebel in the Rye concerns the early years of Jerome David Salinger, his talent, military service and post-traumatic stress. As a college student, Jerry struggles with finding his literary voice, but he finds encouragement from mentor Whitt Burnett (Spacey).

Upon submitting his stories to magazines, Jerry begins developing as a prolific author. During WWII, he joins the military and sees action during D-Day. After returning home, he struggles with post-traumatic stress from his ordeal.

All of these factors culminate in Salinger writing The Catcher in the Rye, which makes him a celebrity. In later years, he gradually withdraws from public life and gives fewer interviews. He later moves to New Hampshire and becomes a recluse. The film, however, ends in the early 1960s with Salinger still typing away in his private bunker.

The film is slated for a fall release in September. “We premiered at Sundance,” Cohen says. “IFC has come on board to distribute the film, which we’re thrilled about.”

He gives special praise to first-time director Danny Strong and the cast. “I’m really proud of the film,” he says. “Kevin Spacey, Nicholas Hoult, Sarah Paulson, Victor Garber, Hope Davis and Zoey Deutch all give extraordinary performances, so it’s a great cast.”

So far, the film is gaining positive buzz. The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg cites Hoult and Spacey’s performances as “great”, and he also praises Strong’s direction.

J.R. Kinnard shares a similar opinion “The scenes between the cocky young writer and the cynical Burnett are a delight,” he says. “What starts as a father-son dynamic quickly evolves into an abiding professional respect.” Kinnard singles out the Utah Beach war sequence as one of the film’s best scenes.

Rebel in the Rye is set for release in NY and LA on September 8, 2017, and a national rollout will follow.

Jonathan Bruce
Jonathan Bruce
I am an English teacher by day and a freelance writer at night. Specialities include news, reviews, opinion and commentary articles. When I'm not teaching, I participate in theatre, building sets and working stage crew as a hobby. I also enjoy reading and having an occasional glass of Scotch.