Ottawa Citizen OTTAWA — This is what we know for sure: On Tuesday in Gatineau, a crew is set to begin filming scenes for the $28 million movie On the Road, based on Jack Kerouac’s perennially best-selling 1957 novel.
We also can confirm the female lead is Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella Swan in the phenomenally successful Twilight series.
But whether the hot young star will be in Gatineau is a closely guarded secret. The official spokesman for the film is based in France and he wasn’t answering his phone Monday.
Roch Brunette is the general manager of the Ottawa Gatineau Film and Television Development Corp., which was instrumental in bringing the production here.
He says he showed crew members “many locations” and they settled on a few streets and an old home in the Hull sector of Gatineau. You would think Brunette would know what stars are coming, but he says even those in charge of the Gatineau shoot say they don’t know.
“They’re only organizing the shoot. They don’t know who’s in town,” he said, and then paused before continuing, “or they’re not saying.” It’s certainly not uncommon to do location shoots with none of the actors on set, but if any of them do appear, it will be a star-studded occasion. The two male leads — Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley — are relative unknowns, but since this is a movie about a road trip, there is a long list of characters.
Among those cast are Kirsten Dunst (Spider Man), Amy Adams (Julie and Julia), Viggo Mortenson (A History of Violence, Lord of the Rings) Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) and character actor Steve Buscemi.
Despite the mystery over who will be here, Brunette said the production, at $28 million, is the “biggest ever in Ottawa-Gatineau.”
Not all the money will be spent here. The total length of the shoot is 65 days. Some filming has been done in Montreal and there will be more in the U.S. and Mexico.
Eddy, Wright, De Lorimier streets will be closed over the four days of shooting. There will also be parking restrictions around those streets. As is common when movies are shot in the capital, Gatineau will not appear as itself. An old house has been selected for a scene set in Denver, Colorado in 1947. Vintage cars are being brought in for the shoot, said Brunette.
One of the executive producers is Francis Ford Coppola, who bought the rights to the book many years ago. The director is Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries). On the Road is a France, Brazil, Canada co-production. Largely autobiographical, On the Road is considered the seminal novel of the Beat Generation. It still sells some 100,000 copies a year.