In addition to directing duties, Spielberg, who lived in Avondale during his early years, reportedly will be the screenwriter for the film — his first such role since 2001’s A.I.
The coming-of-age film will loosely revolve around Spielberg’s time in Arizona, where his family moved in 1957 after a few years in Cincinnati and New Jersey, sources say. The main character will be a teen boy based on Spielberg himself.
Shooting for the film is expected to begin this summer, and The Hollywood Reporter says that Michelle Williams will star as a character based on Spielberg’s mother. Deadline reports that Seth Rogen will play a version of Spielberg’s favorite uncle.
Plot details are scarce, but The Hollywood Reporter says this about Spielberg growing up in Arizona:
Phoenix is where Spielberg lived in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The filmmaker has spoken numerous times about those years, in which he faced anti-Semitism while also making home movies and adventure movies using his father’s 8 mm camera that he entered into contests. (The latter was a focus on his 2011 collaboration with J.J. Abrams, Super 8.)
Spielberg’s family moved to California while he was still in high school and later his parents divorced, with the budding filmmaker moving in with his father. He has spoken publicly about how he maintained his mother on a pedestal but had a strained relationship with father, a relationship that would inform movies ranging from E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial to Hook and Jurassic Park to Lincoln and Catch Me If You Can.
There’s no word yet if Cincinnati will factor at all into the still-untitled film.