Walter Salles’ $25m long gestating adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road will now kick off at the start of August with Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart confirmed in the leads.

Riley, who gained international attention through his breakthrough performance in Anton Corbijn’s Control and stars alongside Helen Mirren and John Hurt in the upcoming Graham Greene adaptation Brighton Rock, will play Kerouac’s alter ego Sal Paradise.

Hedlund has been cast in the second lead as Dean Moriarty and will be seen later this year in Tron Legacy and stars opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in the upcoming Love Don’t Let Me Down.

Stewart, star of the Twilight franchise and The Runaways, will play Moriarty’s volatile on-off wife Marylou.

The Motorcycle Diaries was about a social-political awakening, while On The Road sets the beginning of a behavioural revolution,” Salles said. “Both films are about what Lawrence Ferlinghetti calls ‘A youth revolt.’

“If Sal and Dean hadn’t had the courage to abandon their predictable lives to drift and experiment as much as they did, our lives would probably be different today. I see On The Road as a very contemporary film and I would especially like to thank Kristen, Garrett and Sam for having remained incredibly faithful to the project”.

The American Zoetrope project is being produced by Rebecca Yeldham, cast and is a partnership between MK2, who are acquiring the rights and will produce with Film 4 and Videofilmes from Brazil. Jose Rivera adapted the screenplay.

“We are enormously proud to be collaborating on one of the last great cinematographic adventures of the 20th century to be brought to the screen,” Nathanael Karmitz and Charles Gillibert of MK2 said.