Steven Spielberg’s Semi-Autobiographical Film Casts Sam Rechner in Key Role

Sam Rechner will play a high school classmate of a young, aspiring filmmaker in Steven Spielberg’s new, semi-autobiographical film.

The young up-and-coming Australian actor joins an impressive ensemble cast that includes Oscar-nominee Michelle Willians, Seth Rogen, and Paul Dano. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” breakout Julia Butters, and Gabriel LaBelle are also signed for the film. Williams is playing a character loosely based on Spielberg’s mother, while Dano will play a stand-in for his father, and Rogen will play the role of his favorite uncle,

Rechner is just 19. He recently appeared in “Ruby’s Choice” with Jane Seymour, and will be seen in season two of the Amazon Prime Video series “The Wilds,” starring Rachel Griffiths. His theater credits include leading roles in productions of “Animal Farm” and “12 Angry Men.”

The untitled film is loosely based on Spielberg’s childhood growing up as a movie-loving kid in Arizona. At age 12, Spielberg made his first home movie, which was about a train wreck involving his toy trains, before moving on to 8mm adventure films. The film is a source of great interest in Hollywood, partly due to the fact that Spielberg often applies a child-like sense of wonder to his movies.

Principal photography on the picture begins in July near Los Angeles, with a release planned for 2022. Spielberg co-wrote the script alongside Tony Kushner, the “Angels in America” writer who previously collaborated with the director on “Munich” and “Lincoln.”

Spielberg, Kushner and Kristie Macosko Krieger are producing the film. Spielberg’s next movie is a remake of “West Side Story,” which is due to hit theaters in December. It was originally slated to open in 2020 before COVID altered those plans.

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