Steven Spielberg‘s upcoming film based on his own childhood, has found its young Spielberg. Relative newcomer Gabriel LaBelle is in talks to play Spielberg as a teenager in the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s coming-of-age movie inspired by his formative years growing up in Arizona.
Deadline broke the news that Gabriel LaBelle is in negotiations for the role of young Steven Spielberg in the film based on the legendary filmmaker’s childhood, which will be directed and co-written by Spielberg himself. LaBelle would be joining a cast that includes Michelle Williams and Paul Dano, who are set to play (fictionalized versions of) Spielberg’s parents, while Seth Rogen will play a character based on Spielberg’s favorite uncle.
LaBelle is set to play Spielberg as a teenager in a film that will visit different periods of the director’s childhood in Arizona. This period includes the time he made his first feature film, Firelight, at the age of 17, screening it at his local cinema in Phoenix with the help of his family.
Though the film is officially untitled, Spielberg’s deeply personal film will reportedly be titled The Fabelmans, the homophone of the word “fable” in the family name suggesting that the film is telling a dramatized version of Spielberg’s childhood. The title leak came from a casting call for two young Spielbergs: one white male between the ages of 14-18, and a white male between the ages of 6-8. While it appears that the film has found its young “Sammy,” as the casting call says the character is named, The Fabelmans is likely still on the lookout for its younger prepubescent Sammy — who will also likely be a newcomer.
LaBelle is a newcomer of sorts, having roughly half a dozen credits to his name. His largest role was in the 2017 horror movie Dead Shack, but he’s also appeared in the 2018 horror reboot The Predator and an episode of the CW’s iZombie. He’s currently attached to appear in Starz’s series adaptation of American Gigolo.
Spielberg is co-writing the script with Tony Kushner, who has written the screenplays for movies like Munich, Lincoln, the upcoming West Side Story, and the still-unmade The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. Notably, this marks the first time Spielberg will participate in writing a screenplay in 20 years, since writing 2001’s A.I. Both Spielberg and Kushner will produce the film with Kristie Macosko Krieger, with shooting set to begin this summer. The film is targeting an anticipated 2022 release.
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