Steven Spielberg has been toying with the idea of developing a movie about his life since 1999. Simply titled, I’ll Be Home, his sister Annie was supposed to write the script for the project. But the director shelved the idea because he thought his parents wouldn’t like it. Mostly he feared they would see his point of view about growing up with them as an insult.
Knowing that telling a story about his real-life would take a lot of courage, Steven Spielberg decided to go for it anyway. In 2021, the E.T creator officially announced that he was developing a coming-of-age movie loosely based on his childhood in post-war Arizona. Titled, The Fabelmans, the story will chronicle his life from the age of seven to 18. The director also co-wrote the script alongside Tony Kushner who he’s collaborated with before. Additionally, the project will mark Spielberg’s first writing venture since A.I. Artificial Intelligence in 2001.
The cast of Steven Spielberg’s autobiographical movie currently includes Michelle Williams who will star in a role inspired by the Academy Award winner’s mother Leah Adler – but with an original voice. Deadline said Seth Rogen will play the director’s favorite uncle. Paul Dano joined the cast as Burt Fabelman, a role inspired by Spielberg’s father Arnold. Julia Butters was picked to play Anne Fabelman, a version of the Jaws director’s sister. In May 2021, Gabriel LaBelle entered final negotiations to take on the lead role of Sammy Fabelman – a young, aspiring filmmaker based on Spielberg himself.
The rest of the cast includes Sam Rechner, Chloe East, Oakes Fegley, Isabelle Kusman, Jeannie Berlin, Judd Hirsch, Robin Bartlett, and Jonathan Hadary. Gabriel Bateman, Gustavo Escobar, Nicolas Cantu, Lane Factor, Cooper Dodson and Stephen Matthew Smith also star. Steven Spielberg’s autobiographical movie will also feature Newcomers Keeley Karsten, Birdie Borria, Alina Brace, Sophia Kopera, and Mateo Zoryna Francis-Deford. And in February this year, David Lynch joined the project in a super-secret undisclosed role.
In an interview with Discussing Film, cinematographer and Spielberg’s longtime collaborator Janusz Kamiński shared a few more details about The Fabelmans project. He said the story will do somewhat of a deep dive into the director’s family life and what led to his dream of making movies. “It deals with his family, with his parents, and conundrums with his sisters,” Kamiński told the publication. The film also touches on stuff like young love, divorced parents, and early formative relationships. But it’s mostly about his passion for movie-making.
Kamiński added that The Fabelmans will explain how Steven Spielberg used that passion for movie making as a way to “go through that difficult period of being a teenager.” Additionally, there are a few complex things in the story, such as Spielberg’s conservative, Jewish upbringing and exposure to anti-Semitism. “It’s a very beautiful, personal movie, Kamiński added. “It’s very revealing about Steven’s life and who he is as a filmmaker.”
The Fablemans, loosely based on Steven Spielberg’s life, will be produced by Kristie Macosko Krieger alongside Tony Kushner and the world-renowned director. The movie is currently scheduled for release by Universal Pictures on November 23, 2022.