Call Me By Your Name sequel will tackle the AIDS crisis, director reveals
The director of Call Me By Your Name has spoken about plans for a sequel – and Elio and Oliver will both be back.
There have been consistent rumours about a follow-up to the Oscar-nominated gay film, which stars Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer.
The first film was set in 1983 – shortly before the AIDS crisis began – with some critics complaining that it failed to reflect the frank reality of gay life in the 1980s.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, director Luca Guadagnino appeared to confirm plans for a follow-up, before suggesting that it would finally tackle the issue.
He said: “I think [the AIDS crisis] going to be a very relevant part of the story.
“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 film about the AIDS crisis].
“That could be the first scene [in the sequel].”
He added: “The novel has 40 pages at the end that goes through the next 20 years of the lives of Elio and Oliver, so there is some sort of indication through the intention of author Andre Aciman that the story can continue.
“In my opinion, ‘Call Me’ can be the first chapter of the chronicles of the life of these people that we met in this movie, and if the first one is a story of coming of age and becoming a young man, maybe the next chapter will be, what is the position of the young man in the world, what does he want — and what is left a few years later of such an emotional punch that made him who he is?”
Call Me By Your Name is up for four Oscars this year, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Timothée Chalamet, Best Origianl Song, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Meanwhile Hammer, 31, was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.
The film was also nominated for Best Picture in the Drama category
Call Me By Your Name’s much-praised director Luca Guadagnino missed out on the Best Director nomination, however.
The film is tipped for awards at the 2018 Oscars.
If it wins Best Picture, it would be the second year in a row that an LGBT-themed film takes the biggest prize, following on from Moonlight’s slightly befuddled triumph in 2017.
But despite its critical success, Call Me By Your Name has not be a big hit with the family of its star Armie Hammer.
The Golden Globe-nominated actor, who plays handsome student Oliver, recently revealed that his parents are yet to see the film.
Speaking to Mr Porter, Hammer said he doesn’t know what his family’s reaction would have been if he had had a gay relationship like the one portrayed in the film.
He said: “I don’t know. I know what I’d hope, but I don’t know.
“I am excited for my dad to see Call Me By Your Name. I think that he would have the capacity to get it and be proud of me for doing this work”.
The actor revealed that his mother may not even see the film, despite the rave reviews and Oscars buzz.
He said: “It’s always awkward to say, ‘Come to this movie where you can see my ass and watch me give a blow job’.
“My mum is more conservative. I don’t know if she’ll see it.”
In real life Hammer is straight, and has two kids with his wife Elizabeth.
Despite the extremely positive response to the film, some have questioned the casting of two straight men in the gay love story.
Explaining the decision, director Luis Guadagnino said: “This film is about the blossoming of love and desire, no matter where it comes from and toward what. So I couldn’t have ever thought of casting with any sort of gender agenda.
“I think people are so beautiful and complex as creatures that as much as I am fascinated with gender theory — I’ve studied [American gender theorist] Judith Butler for so long — I prefer much more never to investigate or label my performers in any way.
“I only cast the actors and actresses I fall in love with — truly having an emotion for them, an anticipation and enthusiasm when seeing them — and I believe that my emotional confidence in them blends into chemistry. It’s always been like that, and I hope I won’t be wrong in the future.”
Guadagnino also answered questions about why there are no explicit gay sex scenes in the film.
He said: “I wasn’t interested at all. The tone would’ve been very different from what I was looking for.
“I wanted the audience to completely rely on the emotional travel of these people and feel first love. I didn’t want the audience to find any difference or discrimination toward these characters.
“It was important to me to create this powerful universality, because the whole idea of the movie is that the other person makes you beautiful — enlightens you, elevates you.
“The other is often confronted with rejection, fear or a sense of dread, but the welcoming of the other is a fantastic thing to do, particularly in this historical moment.”
Hammer recently hit back at criticism of his privileged upbringing.
A BuzzFeed article had noted his years of appearing in films that were commercial failures, citing his appearance and wealthy family background as reasons for Hollywood execs continuing to “try and make Armie Hammer happen”.
The article claimed Hammer’s career as “a beautiful, pedigreed white man” afforded him opportunities to safely fail and bounce back, while minority actors found themselves out of work.
In response to the piece, Hammer tweeted: “Your chronology is spot on but your perspective is bitter AF.
“Maybe I’m just a guy who loves his job and refuses to do anything but what he loves to do.”
The Lone Ranger actor dramatically quit Twitter after the spat.
Hammer has also previously spoken out to defend criticism of the film’s love story, which involves a 17-year-old boy and a 24-year-old man.
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Failed actor James Woods, who has made a string of homophobic posts in the past, compared the film to paedophilia.
Quoting a tweet from attacking the film, he said: “As they quietly chip away the last barriers of decency. #NAMBLA”.
NAMBLA refers to a defunct paedophilia advocacy organisation often cited by anti-LGBT activists as ‘proof’ that gay people are actually paedophiles.
Hammer hit back: ““Didn’t you date a 19 year old when you were 60…….?”
It is not illegal for an adult to sleep with a person who is over the age of consent.