Up-and-coming Australian actor Sam Rechner (Ruby’s Choice, The Wilds) has landed a key role in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming semi-autobiographical film. Rechner will play a high school classmate of the young, aspiring filmmaker at the center of the story.
Principal photography is scheduled to begin in July near Los Angeles, with a release planned for 2022.
The project will also star two-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine), Paul Dano (The Batman), and Seth Rogen (This Is the End), who have been set for roles inspired by Spielberg’s mother, father, and favorite uncle, respectively. Gabriel LaBelle (iZombie) will also appear in the project alongside Once Upon a Time in Hollywood breakout star, Julia Butters, who will portray a character that is inspired by Spielberg’s sister, Anne, best known for penning the script of Tom Hanks’ Big.
The untitled project is inspired by Spielberg’s childhood in Arizona which the director has often cited as a major inspiration for his films. Growing up in an Orthodox Jewish family has been a subject that the director often goes back and pays homage to through his work.
His father, Arnold Meyer Spielberg, was an American electrical engineer instrumental in contributions for data that would define modern tech. It was his camera that a young Spielberg would pick up to create his first 8 mm films. His father would go on to fund his son’s first independent film, a science fiction adventure titled Firelight. After his parent’s divorce Spielberg moved to Los Angeles with his dad.
The semi-autobiographical feature has been in development for more than 20 years and will be directed by Spielberg from a screenplay he co-wrote with Tony Kushner. Spielberg, Kushner, and Kristie Macosko Krieger are producing.