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One of two Jack Kerouac-centered pics at Sundance this year, Kill Your Darlings is, as director John Krokidas puts it, the “origin story.”
“It’s a weird cultural nexus right now,” says Krokidas. “Our story, in Hollywood terms, it’s like the origins story. It’s all about before they were famous.”
The film, which premiered on Jan. 18, centers on a young Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), William Burroughs (Ben Foster) and Kerouac (Jack Huston) as students at Columbia University, drawn together by the 1944 murder of David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall) by Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan).
“There’s a tendency to really hold these guys up on pedestals as they became giants of American literature, and there’s a tendency to be, I think reverential towards them,” Radcliffe says during an interview in The Hollywood Reporter‘s video lounge. “That’s not what we were interested in doing. We were interested in showing them just running around having a great time in New York when they all first met.”
Big Sur is the other Kerouac film at this year’s fest, starring Jean-Marc Barr and Kate Bosworth and based on the iconic writer’s novel of the same name. Last year, Walter Salles‘ On the Road debuted at Cannes with Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley in the lead roles.
“They really were the original hipsters,” says DeHaan, while Radcliffe drew similarities to styles of clothing between then and now. Continued DeHaan, “It’s amazing how current and fun and sexy the movie feels when you’re watching it, because they were very much like youth today — Just kind of inventing what youth culture has been.”
For more from the cast and filmmaker, watch the video above. Check back to THR.com throughout the week for continued coverage from THR‘s Sundance video lounge.
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci
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