A ton of news outlets are scrambling to understand the Estate Tax so they can write about whether or not “Catcher in the Rye” might end up being sold off in an attempt by the Salinger Estate to avoid the poor house. Fortunately, there’s no chance of that happening for dozens of reasons: the web of legislation it would take, the improbability of  the Democrats passing such a bill, the inevitable court challenge that it would face, and the time all of this futile effort would demand shooting it far past the reasonable date where one could force anyone to pay retroactively on 2010 taxes.

But all of that is more boring than watching a Sophia Coppola marathon, so instead, we should all turn our brains on to the (impossible) possibility that the movie could get made. What if it did?

Normally there are no rules for these discussions, but for this one, the only parameter is that the answer can’t be “no one.” We get it. You love the book. You think it’s unfilmable because an actor could never be snarky and cynical enough. Unfortunately, that answer just won’t cut it in this game of What If.

The studio has bought the rights…the screenwriter is in place…Wes Anderson is salivating…and they call in thousands of people to read for the main role.

Who gets it?

It does seem to be a difficult task, and I’m tempted to just say An Unknown (which might be correct but hardly seems fair), so if the movie has to be made and has to have a star, my choice is either Jamie Bell or Dillon Freasier (the kid who played H.W. in There Will Be Blood). Bell has always been a strong, brooding actor, and Freasier is a bit too young right now at 13 but would be the perfect age by the time the film got off the ground.

What’s yours?

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