Marlon Brando as Dean Moriarty and Jack Kerouac as Sal Paradise. These are the characters from 'On the Road' that Kerouac assigned to Brando and himself in a letter he wrote to the actor.
The historic piece of paper was found by someone going through Marlon Brando's property for an auction of his estate. Ironically, the discovery was made while the current production of the book to the big screen was being made. (The film adaptation has Garrett Hedlund as Dean and Sam Riley as Sal). Written sometime in 1957, the letter begins with:
I'm praying that you'll buy 'On the Road' and make a movie of it. Don't worry about the structure, I know to compress and re-arrange the plot a bit to give a perfectly acceptable movie-type structure: making it into one all-inclusive trip instead of the several voyages coast-to-coast in the book, one vast round trip from New York to Denver to Frisco to Mexico to New Orleans to New York again. I visualize the beautiful shots could be made with the camera on the front seat of the car showing the road (day and night) unwinding into the windshield, as Sal and Dean yak.
Now here's his sales pitch to Brando:
I wanted you to play the part because Dean (as you know) is no dopey hotrodder but a real intelligent (in fact Jesuit) Irishman. You play Dean and I'll play Sal (Warner Bros. mentioned I play Sal) and I'll show you how Dean acts in real life...we can go visit him in Frisco, or have him come down to L.A. still a real frantic cat...
Is the book worth reading, ONTD? I've recently gotten into Allen Ginsberg and since they were like bffs I thought I should read some of his own stuff.