At Long Last, The Trailer For 'On the Road' Is Here. Let's Judge It!

'On The Road' trailer

Via Twitch

At long last--the trailer for On the Road is here. And it might, possibly, maybe not be terrible. 

The journey from "book beloved by every 16-year-old ever" to "film starring Kristen Stewart" has been a long one--and not because Jack Kerouac didn't want it to happen. In fact, he wanted it to star Marlon Brando and, not surprisingly, himself. But Brando never responded, and the result was a battle between major studios for the rights to turn On the Road into a big-screen, summertime blockbuster. Somehow, Francis Ford Coppolla won out, and he's picked Brazilian-born director Walter Salles to lead the charge. 

Salles has plenty of credibility when it comes to this kind of project--he directed The Motorcycle Diaries, and wrote a segment of Paris, je t'aime--and using two relative unknowns in the roles of Sal and Dean sounds more appealing than Coppola's initial plan to use Colin Farrel and Billy Crudup. And while K. Stew seems like a not-great choice, maybe the moody role of the child-bride Marylou will suit her.

But even still, there are plenty of skeptics who aren't super-enthused about Hollywood's continued poaching from the literary cannon. What's next, Madame Bovary: A Torrid Affair

Anyway, whether it sucks or not, the trailer is finally here, after years of rumors and speculation. Let's watch it and decide. Awful? Possibly good? Entirely unnecessary? Let it fly. 

Image courtesy of

Hanna Brooks Olsen

News by Hanna Brooks Olsen

Hanna Brooks Olsen is a freelance writer who lives in Seattle. She's a regular contributor to Seattle Pulp, where she also hosts a podcast, and an associate editor at Blisstree. Follow her on Twitter to see the kind of non-sequiturs that 20-somethings enjoy, as well as the occasional live-blogging of various political events. You may visit her online at

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misterwoe's picture
misterwoe from Kansas but living in Athens, Greece is reading Perdido Street Station by China Mieville, Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer, A Wolverine is Eating My Leg by Tim Cahill March 12, 2012 - 1:34pm

Looks like a decent adaptation. I love the beats. This could be a great way to turn new generations onto their work, their spirit -- a headfirst swandive into terrible beauty Heaven or Hell abyss, anything to break through the superficial veneer of FacebookTwitterGoogleSmartPhoneInsaneSocialMedia. Conversations until sun rise, crowded apartments, impulse road trips to Denver, writing at 3 a.m., drinking too much wine, poetry readings, libraries, finding the big old great bhudda, the sun in the sky, the stars. My God we've forgotten how to live.

Typewriter Demigod's picture
Typewriter Demigod from London is reading "White Noise" by DeLilo, "Moby-Dick" by Hermann Mellivile and "Uylsses" by Joyce March 12, 2012 - 1:35pm

I resent that Kirsten Stewart is in this, let's hope she can redeem herself.

J.S. Wright's picture
J.S. Wright from Milwaukee is reading Black Spring March 12, 2012 - 2:01pm

I've been following the making of this movie for about a year now, and at first I was also worried about Kristen Stewart because of the whole Twilight thing... but then I checked out the movies she made beforehand.  She's actually not that bad.

Arturo Bandini's picture
Arturo Bandini from Denver, CO is reading Beautiful Ruins March 12, 2012 - 2:01pm

I have no problem with anything in that clip. I also have no problem with Kristen Stewart being in it. I'll reserve my final judgement until after I've seen the thing, but so far so good for what has proven to be a tricky adaptation for decades.

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel March 12, 2012 - 2:49pm

I'm going to admit it did look really intriguing. I'm sure it will leave out a lot, but there was a lot in the book that I thought we could have done without. I just hope it captures the essence of what it was to be on the road.

Brien Piech's picture
Brien Piech March 12, 2012 - 3:38pm

Jees. Even I think it looks true to form. Perhaps it will even be enjoyable in an IFC sort of way.

jl85's picture
jl85 from originally East Tennessee now Southern California is reading everything I can March 12, 2012 - 5:48pm

I'm reading On The Road right now and some many of these scenes were really recognizable for the few seconds they lasted during the trailer. Can't wait to finish (about 70% done right now) it, and then see the Salles adaptation on film. Who cares if Kristen Stewart's in it, I'm sure it will be great!!

Dorian Grey's picture
Dorian Grey from Transexual, Transylvania is reading "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck March 12, 2012 - 6:38pm

Gah! I must read the book before the movie comes out!

Jeff's picture
Jeff from Florida is reading Another Side of Bob Dylan by Victor Maymudes March 13, 2012 - 11:17am

Cowboy Neal Cassady was a bony-faced conman and hustler, fresh from the clutches of the Denver correctional machine. He's the center. If they got him right, then it'll do Kerouac justice.


Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch March 14, 2012 - 12:45pm

It's been a while since I read the book but the scenes seemed decent, except a trailer will not reveal the weakneses of the actors in a few seconds, so I can't make a pronouncement. I am particularly skeptical of KS not because of bias over the Twilight movies, but because I think she is a horrible actress. I saw her in another movie (or 2? I can't remember) and she was horrid there too. Maybe I have to watch every single movie she made, to find that acting skill I haven't seen yet? Why cast her, just because she was in a movie involving teenagers and she managed to show some angst? That's all she showed anyway, and a very boring one.
I didn't plan to rant. But it seems like a rape of the book to cast a mediocre to bad actress.