earlier this summer i read the book, "howl on trial: the battle for free expression," which related the details of the landmark obscenity trial over allen ginsberg's historic poem. now, an all-star cast will recreate the trial (and the confluence of events that led up to it) in a soon-to-be filmed documentary.
allen ginsberg will be played by james franco (who, in july, was the first actor to commit to the project). the news announced today is that he will be joined by david strathairn, alan alda, jeff daniels, mary-louise parker and paul rudd.
"Among the real-life characters featured in the film are Judge Clayton Horn (Alda), prosecution witness Professor David Kirk (Daniels), radio personality and prosecution witness Gail Potter (Parker), prosecuting attorney Ralph McIntosh (Strathairn) and literary critic and defense witness Luther Nichols (Rudd)."
in an interesting twist, the poem, howl, itself will be animated. that novel interpretation of the poem will be included in the film:
"Graphic novelist and Ginsberg collaborator Eric Drooker will create an animated reimagining of 'Howl' (in segments Epstein describes as 'a Beat Fantasia') and Carter Burwell will write the original score."
in and of itself, the animated interpretation of howl would be reason enough to see the film! drooker, it's worth noting, has previously illustrated other ginsberg poems.