J.D. Salinger Film ‘The Red House’ to Be Directed by ‘Billions’ Star Stephen Kunken (EXCLUSIVE)

“Billions,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “A Spy Among Friends” star Stephen Kunken will direct a film about “The Catcher in the Rye” author J

Published Time: 05.06.2024 - 19:31:23 Modified Time: 05.06.2024 - 19:31:23

“Billions,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “A Spy Among Friends” star Stephen Kunken will direct a film about “The Catcher in the Rye” author J.D. Salinger.

Kunken is currently preparing to star in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s climate change play “Kyoto” in Stratford-upon-Avon, U.K. The Salinger film, titled “The Red House,” will be Kunken’s follow-up to his feature directorial debut “Before/During/After” (2020), which won awards at the San Diego, Naples, Greenland and Dances With Films festivals.

“The Red House” is in collaboration with playwright and screenwriter Richard Nelson, who Kunken previously worked with on the plays “That Hopey Changey Thing,” “Sweet and Sad,” “Regular Singing” and “Nikolai and the Others.”

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“I have collaborated with him probably more than any other playwright that I’ve worked with,” Kunken told Variety of Nelson. “I love him and I’m thrilled to make the jump to this new relationship with him.”

Of “The Red House,” Kunken said, “We’re in the pre-pro stage right now. And I’ll get back to New York when this “Kyoto” is done, and then like -

really kick into high gear.”

The film will be about “Salinger after ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ was written, up in New Hampshire,” Kunken added.

A production deal for the film has been signed but not announced yet.

Meanwhile, on the “Billions” spinoff that was revealed last year, Kunken likens it to what “Better Call Saul” was to “Breaking Bad.”

“This is a show that has to be made for its own self, and it just happens to tie across,” he said. “They don’t want to just make a tribute band to the original, they wanted to do something really miraculous. And I think that just takes the time that it takes.”

The cast and crew on “Billions” were “incredibly close,” Kunken continued. “And I know we’d all love to get back together. So if they want to get the band back together, I think all of us will be sitting by the phones ready to make that happen.”

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