Cast announced for Michael Polish’s “Big Sur” adaptation

Kate Erbland

by: Kate Erbland
April 15th, 2011

Over at Deadline, they've exclusively announced the cast list for the next Jack Kerouac adaptation to come down the pipeline, Michael Polish's take on the author's 1962 novel, Big Sur.

While the outlet is reporting "Jean-Marc Barr to play Jack Kerouac, Josh Lucas to play Beat Generation fixture Neal Cassady and Kate Bosworth to play Billie," the book uses pseudonym character names for all those involved (which is, ahem, a bit of a Kerouac staple). The Kerouac character is actually called Jack Duluoz and the Cassady character is Cody Pomeray. "Billie" is indeed a correct character name, with her real life persona being attributed to Jackie Gibson Mercer. Anthony Edwards, Rahda Mitchell, Balthazar Getty, Patrick Fischler, Tana Katic, John Robinson, and Henry Thomas round out this very interesting cast.

The book covers Duluoz's life as a successful author (a fun departure for Kerouac to depict at that time in his career) and the myriad of ways he can't deal with the pressures of fame. He seeks solace in three trips to Big Sur, but his advanced alcoholism impinges on every aspect of his life.

Polish has a varied resume, perhaps best known for THE ASTRONAUT FARMER.

Jean-Marc Barr, though not a huge name in the States, is a very popular and established French actor, whose credits include BREAKING THE WAVES, DOGVILLE, and EUROPA.

Josh Lucas will make an interesting, if not great, choice for the Cassady character. The Beat Poet has been brought to the screen in other incarnations, and has been played by Nick Nolte, Thomas Jane, and Tate Donovan.

I continue to have no explanation for why Kate Bosworth is hired for roles that require any type of heavy lifting.

The next Kerouac to hit the screen, Walter Salles' ON THE ROAD (starring Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, and Kristen Stewart) is currently in post-production and will release sometime this year. Riley will be playing the Kerouac character, Sal Paradise, with Hedlund playing the Cassady character, Dean Moriarty.

BIG SUR is currently filming.

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