Young Australian actor Sam Rechner has just been cast as a classmate of a young Steven Spielberg in the director’s autobiographical film. The film, which will be Spielberg‘s follow-up to this year’s West Side Story, was given the title The Fabelmans last month. Rechner joins a star-studded cast that includes Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Paul Dano, Julia Butters, and Gabriel Labelle. The Fabelmans is loosely based on the upbringing of Spielberg in Arizona.
The Fabelmans will be Rechner‘s second acting role in a film. His first film role is in the upcoming Australian drama, Ruby’s Choice, starring Jane Seymour. To be directed by film royalty like Spielberg for a second role may be jarring, but it also has to be a dream come true as well. Rechner also has theater credits, including starring in productions of “Animal Farm” and “12 Angry Men.” Williams and Dano are set to play the mother and father of Spielberg, while Rogen will play one of the director’s favorite uncles growing up. Gabriel LaBelle was cast to play young Spielberg at the end of last month.
Spielberg co-wrote the script with Tony Kushner, who has been the sole writer of many Spielberg projects including Lincoln and Munich. This is the first time Spielberg has written the script for a project he was directing since 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Spielberg is a great writer, even though he’s only written the screenplay for three other movies, which are Firelight, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Poltergeist. The fact that the first script the director helped write in 20 years is an autobiographical tale makes it all the more exciting, since he’s writing something so close to his heart.
Spielberg is a producer on the film, alongside Kushner and Kristie Macosko Krieger, who also produced the director’s films The Post, Ready Player One, and the upcoming West Side Story. Spielberg completed filming on West Side Story in 2019, and that film was slated to be released in December of 2020, before being delayed a full year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the way things are moving now, it wouldn’t be surprising if filming on The Fableman’s is fully wrapped by the time West Side Story is actually released.
Filming on The Fabelmans is set to begin this July around the Los Angeles area, and no release date has been announced yet for the autobiographical film.