Steven Spielberg is making a new film about himself. Well, not exactly. Titled The Fabelmans, the new flick will be loosely based on the iconic filmmaker’s upbringing in Arizona, and it reportedly includes characters based on Spielberg’s parents and close relatives. Michelle Williams has been cast in a role resembling his mother, with Paul Dano playing the paternal role. In addition, Seth Rogen has been tapped for a role inspired by an uncle.
Williams is noted for her appearance in Manchester by the Sea, while Dano and Rogen were seen in There Will Be Blood and This is the End, respectively. In addition, Cindy Tolan, who helped Spielberg cast his “West Side Story” remake, is holding an open casting call for the role of Sammy, between the ages of 6~8 and the other 14~18.
Spielberg is cowriting the script with Tony Kushner (of Angels in America fame), marking his first screenwriting credit since A.I. in 2001. Kushner has also written the screenplays for Munich, Lincoln, and West Side Story, whose release has been postponed to December due to the pandemic.
Now 74, Spielberg was born in Cincinnati and grew up in Phoenix before moving to California for college. His first major directorial hit, at 25, was the blockbuster Jaws, followed by such 70s and 80s classics as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. the Extraterrestrial, and Indiana Jones films. He also directed The Color Purple (1985) and Empire of the Sun (1987). He is also known for having cofounded Amblin Entertainment and Dreamworks.
Eleven of Spielberg’s films have been nominated for Academy Awards. His Schindler’s List won him Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director in 1994, and he won the Best Director title for Saving Private Ryan in 1999.