Jon Hamm Defends the Best Minds of His Generation From Being Destroyed By Madness (Slight Return)

jon-hammAll of a sudden, everything’s coming up Allen Ginsberg. Why? Are we envious of the man’s ability to free his spirit in a conformist age? Is it because there’s a bit of a gay, Jewish, quasi-communist, beat poet inside all of us? Is it because it’s still possible to get a chill down the spine when we hear the opening lines of Howl, while “My love is like a red, red rose” just doesn’t cut it anymore? At any rate, now we’ve got not one but TWO upcoming Ginsberg projects to track. Oh, the dharma of it all!

We already know about Kill Your Darlings, the story of David Kammerer’s 1944 murder by Lucien Carr, the young Adonis who brought the various players in the beat scene together in one dysfunctional melange. Now Variety is reporting that Jon Hamm is joining the cast of Howl. The film will follow the 1957 obscenity trial against Ginsberg’s signature work. Bookseller and poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti was tried for peddling a poem that included references to drugs, sodomy and all other manner of behavior that makes Sarah Palin’s toes curl.

Hamm will play the plum part of Jake Ehrlich, Ferlinghetti’s defense attorney. Flaunting the motto “Never plead guilty,” Ehrlich was something of a legal celebrity. It’s claimed he helped inspire Perry Mason, while a young DeForest Kelly played a version of Ehrlich in the failed TV pilot, 333 Montgomery. Among his more famous cases were defending Billie Holiday against heroin charges and representing Howard Hughes during a legal dispute over his film The Outlaw.

Some people think Hamm is sex on a pretty meaty stick. Personally he leaves this blogger a little cold, but he certainly will give the indie production traction. It’s a drama from Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, probably best known for the documentaries The Celluloid Closet and The Times of Harvey Milk. No surprise, then, that Gus Van Sant (Milk) is producing. The juicy cast includes James Franco as Ginsberg, as well as Paul Rudd, Jeff Daniels, Alan Alda, and David Strathairn. Shantih! Shantih! Shantih!

Here’s Jake “The Master” Ehrlich duelling with another Great One.

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2 Responses to “Jon Hamm Defends the Best Minds of His Generation From Being Destroyed By Madness (Slight Return)”

  1. Codpiece for Mr. Franco! « SquallyShowers Says:

    […] James Franco learned that it’s better to be in a movie everybody loves than training as a boxer for nine months for a movie no one sees. […]

  2. Gus Van Sant Gets on the Bus « SquallyShowers Says:

    […] The project suggests that, having completed his Bela Tarr phase, Van Sant is now embarked on a series of films visiting key moments in counter-cultural history. Where Milk tells the story of a homosexual man’s attempts to guide his lifestyle into the mainstream, Acid Test imagines the opposite–a revolt against societal norms, where the weapon is both the human imagination and the contents of Owsley Stanley’s bathtub. The movie is also part of a wave of nostalgia for the days of Happenings, Be-ins and Free Love. Ang Lee has just completed Taking Woodstock, while Milk star James Franco is playing Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings. […]

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