EXCLUSIVE: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood breakout Julia Butters is set to join Steven Spielberg’s next film, which is loosely based on the director’s childhood growing up in Arizona. She would play the sister to the young filmmaker (Gabriel LaBelle) at the center of the story.
Michelle Williams is already set playing a role inspired by Spielberg’s mom in the Amblin film but with a separate and original voice, while Seth Rogen is aboard to play his favorite uncle. Paul Dano is set to play the character inspired by Spielberg’s father.
Given how personal the story is, this also will mark the first time since 2001’s A.I. that Spielberg will partake in screenwriting duties, co-writing the script with Tony Kushner, who has penned several Spielberg movies. The film will start shooting this summer, with an expectation it will be released sometime in 2022. Spielberg, Kushner and Kristie Macosko Krieger are producers.
Throughout the years, Spielberg has talked about how growing up in Arizona was an inspiration for many of his films from story themes to actual characters. The 2017 HBO documentary Spielberg came the closest to diving into his past, but this will be the first time Spielberg is truly able to give perspective on the early years of one of cinema’s greatest storytellers.
Although Butters only had a few scenes in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time, she made them count, earning praise as the co-star to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton. She is currently filming the Russo Brothers’ big-budget action pic The Gray Man opposite Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans.
She is repped by Anonymous Content, UTA, CESD and Peikoff Mahan.