The Catcher in the Rye has famously avoided a Hollywood adaptation because of J.D. Salinger's refusal to sell the movie rights, and many have assumed that Salinger must have felt about films the same way that his novel's protagonist, Holden Caulfield, did: “If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the movies," he writes. "Don’t even mention them to me.” But it turns out, that's far from the case.
"I like certain kinds of films inordinately."
In research for the documentary Salinger, director Shane Salerno uncovered a letter from the author dating back to 1967 that refutes his rumored distaste for film. "It isn't true, at all, that I 'hate' or dislike all films, and it's always more than a little off-putting, not to say irritating, to hear that I do," he writes in the letter, which has been published by Variety. "The fact is, I like certain kinds of films inordinately."
Salinger goes on to explain that he simply has no "professional interest" in writing for the screen or stage. "The only theater I want to write for is the little marvelous one inside the individual reader's mind," he writes. Salinger says that he provides readers with all that they might need in order to bring the events of his books to life. Even so, that's unlikely to stop film studios from going after his work now that he's no longer around to guard it.