Steven Spielberg has a filmography full of personal and intimate movies – a big part of what makes his body of work so incredible – but the project that he is cooking up post-West Side Story sounds like it will be his most personal and intimate yet. After decades of telling stories about both real people and fictional characters, he is now developing a film that will function as a semi-autobiography about his life as a child, and a new report has come in announcing that Seth Rogen will be playing the director's "favorite uncle."
News of this casting comes from Deadline, though the trade report doesn't have any details about Rogen's role in the story – which will center on a young protagonist growing up in Arizona. The cast of the film, which doesn't have a title just yet, is starting to come together, as Rogen is the second actor to join the cast. Michelle Williams is also on board to play a character similar but not exactly like Steven Spielberg's mother.
While Spielberg hasn't been credited as a screenwriter in 20 years (the last time was 2001's A.I. Artifical Intelligence), he is working on the script for this new feature personally, and collaborating with Tony Kushner in the process. The two men have had some incredible success working together in the past, with past projects including 2012's Lincoln and 2005's Munich. Kushner also wrote the screenplay for Spielberg's upcoming, aforementioned West Side Story, which will finally be coming out this year following its COVID-19 related move off the 2020 calendar.
Not counting the Steven Spielberg voice cameo in Greg Mottola's Paul, this film will mark the first time that Seth Rogen and the director have had a chance to collaborate. Given the role of a fun uncle in the movie, it's easy to imagine that the role will allow Rogen to lean into his comedic skills – but depending on what the tone of the story ends up being audiences can be confident that the actor can deliver on the dramatic front too. While he hasn't had many opportunities in that arena, his turn as Steve Wozniak in Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs is all the proof one needs that he can do serious work, and it would be great if his part in the Spielberg feature gives him a real challenge.
It also needs to be noted that there is a kind of kismet in Seth Rogen starring in a movie made by Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner, which will be made self-evident by watching the clip below from Knocked Up:
Due to the pandemic, this Steven Spielberg semi-autobiography could wind up being the next time we see Seth Rogen in a live-action film, as he told CinemaBlend last year around the release of An American Pickle that he didn't feel confident stepping foot on a set before the vaccine was made available. Now, however, things are different, and the Spielberg movie is making plans to start shooting in the summer.
This Steven Spielberg movie doesn't have a release date yet, but it is expected to be prepared to come out sometime in 2022. Meanwhile fans of the director can get excited for the 2021 remake of West Side Story, which stars Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, and Ariana DeBose, and will be in theaters on December 10.