E.T., without the extra terrestrial.
That’s what Steven Spielberg‘s new project sounds like, and it will star Michelle Williams as (most likely, but not confirmed) the matriarch.
The one-time wunderkind turned legendary auteur and mogul is returning to his Amblin roots. The director of major blockbusters and Oscar-winning classics will co-write and direct a movie based loosely on his own childhood growing up in Arizona.
This is Steven Spielberg returning to his roots in every sense of the word, and exactly the kind of movie I want him to be making with whatever years he has left — even if it means that someone else is directing the new Indiana Jones adventure (and it does).
Details were not disclosed for this very personal project, but the plot will be fiction or, at most, semi-autobiographical as the main character (a child or teen) will not be named Steven.
Also, while Spielberg grew up in the 1950s and 60s, the story is reported to be split across time periods as it examines a boy’s relationship with his parents. Spielberg has long been openly sentimental about his lifelong love for filmmaking, and how his parents helped foster it at an early age with the purchase of an 8MM film camera.
Whether this movie will follow (or not) the arc of a budding filmmaker who begins to write and direct his own shorts in grade school and then his first feature in high school (which, for Spielberg, actually played at a local theater) remains to be seen. Needless to say, though, it’ll likely deliver the sentiment and melancholy that marked Spielberg’s career, especially his most personal efforts.
Assisting Spielberg with the screenplay is frequent collaborator Tony Kushner. The Pulitzer and Tony winning playwright has previously penned Spielberg’s Lincoln and Munich. This will be the third screenwriting credit. His two previous were Close Encounters of the Third Kind and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (which he completed from Stanley Kubrick‘s notes and initial rough drafts).
Pre-production is already underway, highlighted by the casting of Williams, and production is set to roll this summer. The film will be released sometime in 2022, following the release of Spielberg’s pandemic-delayed remake of West Side Story (also adapted by Kushner), which will finally hit theaters this holiday season.