Are you ready to see Harry Potter sport a beard, glasses, and speak in the rhythm of 1950s beat prose? Well, if you aren’t get ready because Daniel Radcliffe is starring in the upcoming film Kill Your Darlings as beat poet, Allen Ginsberg. The poet, who spent his youth running around with Jack Kerouac,Neal Cassady, and William S. Burroughs, formed a Beat Generation of writers who consistently traveled from New York to San Francisco.
In the last few years Ginsberg has been featured prominently in cinema. The first actor to take a stab at it was multi-MFA student James Franco, who portrayed the poet during the release of his blacklisted poem Howl. Ginsberg is also featured in this year’s critically acclaimed film On The Road. Taking those two films into consideration, it was intriguing to say the least that Radcliffe, who hasn’t yet shed his Potter image, would be portraying a poet who was known for his loud antics, and ambitiously sexualized poems.
However, one look at Daniel Radcliffe as Ginsberg, and it’s safe to say that the actor at least has the look down. It’s another story entirely if he can actually capture the spirit of Ginsberg like the actors before him. Kill Your Darlings’ full synopsis is as follows:
“While he is attending Columbia University in 1944, the young Allen Ginsberg’s life is turned upside down when he sets eyes on Lucien Carr, an impossibly cool and boyishly handsome classmate. Carr opens Ginsberg up to a bohemian world and introduces him to William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Repelled by rules and conformity in both life and literature, the four agree to tear down tradition and make something new, ultimately formulating the tenets of and giving birth to what became the Beat movement. On the outside, looking in, is David Kammerer, a man in his thirties desperately in love with Carr. When Kammerer is found dead, and Kerouac, Burroughs, and Carr are arrested in conjunction with the murder, the nascent artists’ lives change forever.”
Kill Your Darlings premieres at Sundance next month.