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It’s been almost two years since it was announced that X-Men‘s Nicholas Hoult would play famed writer J.D. Salinger in Rebel in the Rye, and finally there’s a trailer to show for it.

Rather than a full biopic, however, the new film will focus on Salinger’s formative years, as he struggled to make it as a short story writer and finally met mentor Whit Burnett (Kevin Spacey), who encouraged him to write his masterpiece Catcher in the Rye.

It’s no easy task making the act of writing look dramatic, given how it’s mostly a case of an individual sitting staring blankly at a page. But this trailer uses every trick in the book.

First there’s WWII, which provides the backdrop to Salinger’s development as a writer, and then there’s the love affair with Oona O’Neill, played by Zoey Deutch (Vampire Academy, Why Him?). Sarah Paulson (The People v. O.J. Simpson) also does her best to steer Salinger towards more commercial fare as his agent Dorothy Olding.

And then there’s the clacking sound of a typewriter, plus shots of a scribbling Salinger, and repeated references to “Holden Caulfield,” the hero of his most famous book.

If that wasn’t clear enough, then keep your ears out for a reference to “phonies,” a.k.a. Holden’s pet peeve:

Rebel in the Rye hits theaters on 15 September.

Do you think Nicholas does Salinger justice?

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Filed Under: Nicholas Hoult
By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.