Shooting is underway for Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical movie The Fabelmans, starring Michelle Williams and Paul Dano, who are playing versions of Spielberg’s late mother and father. Seth Rogen’s character is based on Spielberg’s favorite uncle. Spielberg can been seen directing Williams, who playing his mother Leah, in fifties attire and sporting Leah’s signature blonde short fringed pixie cut. Dano can be seen in a brown corduroy suit getting into character as Spielberg’s father Arnold. The Hollywood icon shot a few scenes for the upcoming film on the beach in Malibu, California with cast members Gabriel LaBelle, Sam Rechner (Ruby’s Choice), and Chloe East (Generate + ion) among others.
Rumors of the film have swirled for years, and casting was kept under lock and key for the fabled film that promised to give Steven Spielberg’s mass of fans a personal look into humble beginnings. Given how personal the story is, this also will mark the first time since 2001’s A.I. that Steven Spielberg has joined in screenwriting duties, co-writing the script with Tony Kushner, who has written several Spielberg movies.
Throughout the years, Spielberg has spoken of his early life in Arizona and how it was an inspiration for so many of his films from story themes to actual characters. The 2017 HBO documentary Spielberg came the closest to diving into his past, but this will be the first time the director will be able to give his perspective on the early years of one of cinema’s greatest storytellers.
Judd Hirsch, Jeannie Berlin (The Heartbreak Kid, Succession), and veteran stage and screen actors Robin Bartlett (Mad About You, American Horror Story) and Jonathan Hadary (Veep, Girls5eva) will play the older relatives of a young, aspiring filmmaker. Gabriel LaBelle (The Predator) will play Sammy, a kid who is loosely based on Spielberg’s early experiences in Arizona.
Julia Butters from Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood is playing the stand-in for Spielberg’s sister; and Sam Rechner, Oakes Fegley, Chloe East and Isabelle Kusman, will be playing high school classmates. As for, LaBelle, who won out in an open-casting call for the role, this marks his largest part to date. He is also set to play the younger version of Jon Bernthal in Showtime’s upcoming series adaptation of American Gigolo directed by David Hollander (Ray Donovan).
To tide us over for the peek behind the curtain into Spielberg’s early life featuring Michelle Williams at the center, he has his upcoming West Side Story,which also harkens back to the director’s childhood. “My mom was a classical pianist,” says the filmmaker. “Our entire home was festooned with classical musical albums, and I grew up surrounded by classical music. West Side Story was actually the first piece of popular music our family ever allowed into the home. I absconded with it, this was the cast album from the 1957 Broadway musical, just fell completely in love with it as a kid. West Side Story has been that one haunting temptation that I have finally given in to.” It stars Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort, with Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Josh Andrés Rivera, Corey Stoll and Brian d’Arcy James, as well as Rita Moreno, a star of the 1961 film, appearing in a supporting role. It’s expected release date is December 10, 2021.
Topics: The Fabelmans