Steven Spielberg to direct autobiographical coming of age story, set to cast Michelle Williams


With West Side Story looking to release later this year, following pandemic delays, Steven Spielberg’s next project is shaping up to be literally his most personal film yet: An autobiographical story chronicling the director’s upbringing is in the cards, with Michelle Williams in talks to star.

The untitled project stems from a script co-written by Spielberg and Tony Kushner, West Side Story‘s writer (adapting Arthur Laurents) and previous collaborator on 2012’s Lincoln. Though inspired and pulling from Spielberg’s childhood in Arizona, the film is sounding as if it will keep some distance from an out-and-out biopic (the “Spielberg character,” for example, is apparently not being called “Steven”), though sources are adamant that the script is very much based on his memories. How much of the project resembles this early premise of “a Steven Spielberg biography” remains to be seen, of course, though the very notion is an exciting one.

More concrete is the likely casting of Michelle Williams, who is in talks to play a leading role in the project, presumably Spielberg’s mother. Casting is apparently underway for the young Spielberg, with a July start to filming rumored, aiming for a release next year.

Spielberg has described his childhood as one of being an outsider, facing anti-Semitism towards his Orthodox family, and uncertainty at school until picking up a camera. At this point his mother, Leah, was a source of great encouragement for the young filmmaker. Good thing she gave him that push.

Spielberg’s no stranger to juggling tasks, working on a new Indiana Jones in some capacity, and any number of projects his producing–the new Halo series, for example–in various stages of production. As such a busy guy, whether this biographical film winds up hitting screens next could be a gamble. Still, with what’s being described as a smaller-scale production, amidst developing pandemic conditions, things seem to be in place. For now, West Side Story is set for a December 10, 2021 release.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter