Josh O’Connor May Star in Luca Guadagnino’s Gay Romantic Film ‘Separate Rooms’

Josh O’Connor May Star in Luca Guadagnino’s Gay Romantic Film ‘Separate Rooms’

Photo by Des Willie/Des Willie/Netflix – © Netflix 2020, Inc

Josh O’Connor is in discussions to star in Luca Guadagnino‘s latest drama, Separate Rooms, Variety is reporting. The movie will reunite the BAFTA Award-nominated British actor with the Venice Film Festival-winning Italian director; the performer is also starring in the filmmaker’s upcoming tennis love triangle feature Challengers with Zendaya and Mike Faist.

Separate Rooms will be a screen adaptation of the eponymous novel by the late Italian writer Pier Vittorio Tondelli. The book’s story follows an Italian writer named Leo as he mourns the loss of his boyfriend.

O’Connor is in advanced talks to play Leo in the drama. The character’s passionate romance with a shy German musician, Thomas, is marked by different forms of separation. The Emmy-winning actor has begun studying Italian for the role, even though he is not yet fully contractualized to appear in the movie.

Guadagnino announced this weekend in Italy’s La Repubblica’s weekly magazine Venerdì that he will start shooting the novel’s screen adaptation soon. The book, which is titled Camere separate in Italian, was released in 1989 in Italy and was subsequently published in English.

The film’s screenplay is being penned by Francesca Manieri. The scribe previously worked with Guadagnino on the HBO-Sky TV show We Are Who We Are. The coming-of-age drama series chronicles two American teenagers who live on a U.S. military base in Italy.

In Separate Rooms, Leo, who’s in his 30s, travels across Milan, Paris, London and Florence. Meanwhile, Thomas is a young Berlin-based pianist who is temporarily living in Paris when he first meets Leo.

The novel is divided into three parts, called movements, which alternate between flashbacks and reflections. After their initial meeting in Paris, the duo begins a long affair, during which they travel together to different European cities over a three-year period.

When they’re not traveling together, the two men live separately, during which they seclude themselves in their respective loneliness. However, they often write to each other while they’re apart. Leo’s loneliness is amplified when Thomas starts an affair with a girl.

The two men are separated for good when Thomas is diagnosed with an illness that leads to his death in his hometown of Munich. The book begins with Leo being called to Munich to say goodbye to his former lover. The piece of literature also details Leo’s gradual recovery as he reminisces while traveling to England and the U.S.

Guadagnino is expected to make Separate Rooms his next film. The project is being produced by Lorenzo Mieli under his deal with Fremantle.

Mieli and Fremantle previously produced Guadagnino’s romantic horror movie, Bones and All, which features the latter filmmaker’s Call Me by Your Name star, Timothée Chalamet. Bones and All won the best director award at Venice in 2022.

Mieli, Fremantle and Guadagnino also worked together on the highly anticipated screen adaptation of author William S. Burroughs’ 1985 novel, Queer. The historical romantic drama, which stars Daniel Craig and Drew Starkey, is expected to launch from Venice later this year.

O’Connor previously told GQ that working with Guadagnino was a career highlight. The Golden Globe-winning actor said: “I remember Luca saying to me: ‘Actors are like racehorses: You have to keep them in condition if you want them to run as fast as they can.'”

The performer is also currently in production on another queer drama period piece adaptation, History of Sound, with Paul Mescal. The movie, which is being helmed by Oliver Hermanus, is based on the short story of the same name. The story focuses on two men who fall in love while traveling to record the sounds of WWI soldiers.

Separate Rooms is expected to be released in theaters sometime next year.

Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.

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