ready player one spielberg

Steven Spielberg‘s next movie has a title: The Fabelmans.

The film, which is loosely based on the director’s own childhood, is holding open casting calls for the lead role of Sammy, which appears to be the character who is modeled on Spielberg’s younger self.

Casting director Cindy Tolan, who previously worked with Spielberg on his upcoming remake of West Side Story, is evidently holding an open casting call for two different versions of The Fabelmans lead character, “Sammy.” They’re looking for a white male between the ages of 14-18 for teenage Sammy, and a white male between the ages of 6-8 for young Sammy, indicating that this film is going to bounce around in time a little bit.

While we surmise that the title, The Fabelmans, is probably the primary family’s last name, the homophone-ish inclusion of the word “fable” in that name is a fun nod to the way this film seems to be telling a story that’s just a few tweaks away from Spielberg’s own experience. (Plus, Spielberg himself could be called a “fable man,” considering the yarns he has spun for audiences over the past fifty years.)

The film sounds like it could be the director’s most personal project yet, since it’s based loosely on his own childhood growing up in Arizona. Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea) is playing a character inspired by Spielberg’s mother, Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood) is playing a man inspired by his father, and Seth Rogen (This is the End) is on board to play a guy who’s based on Spielberg’s favorite uncle.

Spielberg is co-writing the script with Tony Kushner, who has written the screenplays for movies like MunichLincoln, the upcoming West Side Story, and the still-unmade The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, and this marks the first time Spielberg will participate in writing a screenplay in twenty years. The last time he got a writing credit was on 2001’s A.I. – Artificial Intelligence. Spielberg is an incredibly nostalgic person who can utilize the dreamlike quality of cinema to his advantage like almost no other mainstream filmmaker, so I’m fascinated to see how this project turns out. I’m also intrigued by the fact that they’re opening up their search far and wide to find the perfect actors to play these versions of Sammy. This seems like the type of role that could launch a performer into star status, so it’ll be interesting to see if they go with a total unknown or cast someone a bit more familiar. To submit an audition, email a photo and resume of yourself to ctcastingsearch@gmail.com.

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