It's good to finally feel the beat of "On the Road."
The film adaptation of what many consider to be the defining work of the Beat Generation has been a long time coming (30 years worth of development hell, in fact), and now we have the first look at director Walter Salles' cinematic translation of Jack Kerouac's (mostly) autobiographical novel.
"On the Road" follows Sal Paradise (a stand-in for Kerouac himself, played by Sam Riley), his adventurous pal Dean Moriarty (a stand-in for Neal Cassady, played by Garrett Hedlund) and Dean's 16-year-old bride, Marylou (Kristen Stewart) as they embark on a New York to California road trip in search of some ideal version of America. Along the way, they get into surreal misadventures that reveal a country trying to redefine itself upon the aftermath of World War II.
The trailer definitely feels like Kerouac, with Riley doing a great job with the writer's distinct Lowell, Massachusetts accent and Viggo Mortensen providing eccentricity as the heavily-armed Old Bull Lee, one of the many "characters" Sal and Dean run into on their trip. As for K.Stew, there's no way in hell she passes for 16, but what the hey.
"On the Road" is still trying to lock down a 2012 release date. In the interim, check out the trailer below, which premiered on the film's official Facebook page.