Faced with the task of selling its upcoming documentary on J.D. Salinger, The Weinstein Company has adopted a tactic that harkens back to the classic hucksterism of William Castle, rather than relying on the average horny, teenage moviegoers’ insatiable lust for reclusive authors. “Uncover The Mystery But Don’t Spoil The Secrets” will be the new marketing campaign for Salinger—presumably only after “You Paid For The Whole Seat, But Like Holden Caulfield, You’ll Be Standing On The Edge” was rejected—with the Weinsteins even going so far as to ask those who have seen the film in advance of its Sept. 6 premiere to sign nondisclosure agreements.
According to the producers, that’s to force them to “remain tight-lipped on the secrets” unveiled by Shane Salerno’s nine-years-in-the-making film, which reportedly contains “an unprecedented amount of unseen footage, photographs, and biographical information.” And, apparently, such a bombshell that it requires protecting, in addition to exploiting as a promotional angle.
“The joy of this documentary is discovering information that, until now, has been kept under wraps for decades,” Harvey Weinstein said in a statement, comparing the situation to the time, “back in 1993, when Miramax released The Crying Game, we asked journalists and moviegoers not to reveal the film’s secret to their friends.” Naturally, this would suggest that, at some point, we see J.D. Salinger’s penis. (Or, learn he was really a woman.) But here are some other possibilities for Salinger’s big secret:
- Salinger wasn’t so much a “recluse” as just a guy who killed everyone who set foot on his property, putting their heads on pikes as a warning to others.
- Salinger secretly ghostwrote all three seasons of Veronica’s Closet.
- He and Thomas Pynchon totally hung out and talked to everyone at this one place all the time, which you would know about if you were cool.
- Nine Stories’ missing tenth story was to be a bawdy parody called “The Ass Family.”
- Salinger completed at least 15 novels that have yet to be published, but they’re all about Hitler, so…
- The “J.D.” stood for “Jimmy Dean,” and in addition to crafting some of literature’s most affecting portraits of adolescent alienation, he crafted some mighty fine sausage.
- Knowledge was his treasure.
- The Catcher In The Rye is really amazing when you're a teenager, then not as much.
- Salinger dies at the end.
And so on.