Doesn’t Call Me by Your Name 2 sound peachy right now?
Director Luca Guadagnino has confirmed that a sequel to his beloved 2017 film is in the works, but the project is currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Before coronavirus, I had a trip to the United States to meet a writer I love very much, whose name I don’t want to say, to talk about the second part,” Guadagnino said in a recent interview with Italian media outlet La Repubblica. “Unfortunately, we had to cancel it. Of course, it is a great pleasure to work with Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Esther Garrel, and the other actors. Everyone will be in the new movie.”
Call Me by Your Name received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, and James Ivory won an Oscar for his screenplay, adapted from André Aciman’s acclaimed 2007 novel of the same name.
Chalamet was also Oscar-nominated for his performance as Elio, a 17-year-old student who falls for his father’s 24-year-old intern, Oliver (Armie Hammer), during the summer of 1983 in the Italian countryside.
Aciman released Find Me, his follow-up to Call Me by Your Name, last fall. The book revisits Elio and Oliver “two decades after their first meeting,” according to publisher Farrar, Straus, and Giroux’s official synopsis.
“I don’t see any world where it doesn’t happen,” Chalamet told Time in 2018 about a potential film sequel. “I think André is comfortable with a sequel being made. I know Luca really wants it. And I know Armie and I are 1000% in.”
Guadagnino has discussed catching up with Elio and Oliver in the future, possibly expanding Aciman’s story into a series of films. “These characters are so fantastic, and I want to know what happens to them,” he told The Guardian. “The last 40 pages of the book tell you about 20 years in the life of Oliver and Elio.”
The filmmaker has also said a sequel would tackle the AIDS crisis. “I think Elio will be a cinephile, and I’d like him to be in a movie theater watching Paul Vecchiali’s Once More,” a 1988 French film that dealt with gay love and AIDS, the director told The Hollywood Reporter. “That could be the first scene [in the sequel]… [HIV] is going to be a very relevant part of the story.”
Deadline reported that Stuhlbarg, who played Elio’s father, is also game for a sequel. “[Guadagnino] seems to think that we might be able to pick up the action a few years later,” he said, “to see what’s happened to these characters and the choices they’ve made, and life after this particularly momentous summer for them all.”
Hammer, however, has expressed his hesitations. “I’m sort of coming around to the idea that the first one was so special for everyone who made it, and so many people who watched it felt like it really touched them, or spoke to them,” he told Vulture last year. “And it felt like a really perfect storm of so many things, that if we do make a second one, I think we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment. I don’t know that anything will match up to the first, you know?”
With Italy and much of the world on lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis, who knows when Call Me by Your Name 2 will, uh, come to fruition?