Something directors often don’t want is people comparing their film to another movie already out, especially when the film in question hasn't even been released yet. Well, that’s exactly what is happening to Enricho Casarosa, the director of Pixar’s Luca. Would-be fans are saying that Luca is an adorably animated, kid version of Call Me By Your Name, a LGBTQ positive film also about two boys exploring the Italian countryside. Casarosa has spoken out to set the record straight concerning the comparisons that are being made between the two films.
During a press conference that CinemaBlend’s own Sarah El-Mahmoud attended, Enricho Casarosa said that he had no intention to make a romantic movie, and that he wanted to focus on a specific kind of friendship. This friendship will be the kind that comes before the complications of romantic interests. Here's what Casarosa specifically said:
I was really keen to talk about a friendship before girlfriends and boyfriends come in to complicate things. Even narratively, once Julia [a female character voiced by Emma Berman] comes into the picture and we looked at the structure of it, sometimes the story would pull you toward some puppy love or romance. To be completely honest, I really wanted to talk about friendship.
This is a major difference between the two films, as Call Me By Your Name has a romantic tone and Luca is apparently more a story of childhood friendship - not summer love. In the same press conference, Enricho Casarosa went on further to specify that the main characters of Luca are a lot younger than those of Call Me By Your Name, and wouldn’t even be concerned with matters of love. Here it is in the director’s own words:
That was really never in our plans. This was really about their friendship in that kind of pre-puberty world.
When you think about it like that, the comparisons are really just based on some visual parallels. The Italian countryside has a distinct look to it that both films have captured, and the two lead males in both films look kind of similar. Another odd, albeit farfetched connection the two films have is that the director of Call Me By Your Name’s first name is Luca. Is that weird? A little, but definitely nothing to build a case on.
It's also worth noting is that both pairs of boys/men meet each other in the beginning of the films and build a relationship throughout the movies. However, we now know that those relationships are very different from one another.
Luca, although originally set to have a theatrical run, will exclusively be available on Disney+ this summer starting on June 18. If you were originally thinking that Luca was just another rendition of Call Me By Your Name, rest assured that it is its own unique film, so check it out when the time comes!