While it seems like more has been discussed about the sequel to Call Me by Your Name than most independent films that have actually been made the last few years, in a time when little else brings joy, it’s worth providing the updates that do come in. Since the 2017 release of his romantic drama, Luca Guadagnino has been vocal about wanting to continue this story in a Before trilogy-esque way and it looks like things are still moving forward despite a pandemic-related hiccup.
“I was going to America to meet a writer I love very much, whose name I don’t want to mention, to talk about the second part. Unfortunately, everything is canceled,” he recently told the Italian Gay.it (via The Playlist). “Of course, it’s a great pleasure to work with Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stulhbarg, Esther Garrel, and the other actors. They will all be there in the new film.”
While Guadagnino has previously discussed actors returning (including the potential casting of frequent collaborator Dakota Johnson), it’s the first time he confirmed the entire main ensemble would return. As to what the narrative may entail, the author of the original film, André Aciman, released a follow-up novel titled Find Me last fall, but this new film won’t be a strict adaptation of that book.
“The passion I have is for actors and the characters, and I believe these characters have more things to do and experience and could be interesting to see them growing in life, it’s not about a sequel it’s about what happens to them, and how to track the actors aging into the characters… (It seems that) a viable option meets in the middle of what André has created,” Guadagnino told Variety a few months ago.
As to what we may actually see, during the awards season hoopla of CMBYN‘s release (aka take this with a grain of salt), he told THR, “I think Elio [Timothee Chalamet] will be a cinephile, and I’d like him to be in a movie theater watching Paul Vecchiali’s Once More, a 1988 film about a man who falls in love with a man after he leaves his wife, which was the first French movie to deal with AIDS.” He adds, “That could be the first scene [in the sequel].”
It sounds like there is still much to be developed when it comes to the follow-up, but it seems Guadagnino is still directing much of his energy towards attempting to pull it off. When this strange, scary time concludes, hopefully we’ll get news of the American writer that the director plans to meet with, and when we may see Elio and Oliver return.