Review of Julia Butters Joins Amblin Biopic Inspired by Steven Spielberg’s Childhood

Daljit Kalsi

Julia Butters Joins Amblin Biopic Inspired by Steven Spielberg's Childhood

According to Deadline, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood breakout star, Julia Butters has officially been tapped to join the cast of Steven Spielberg’s long-in-development biopic, loosely based on the acclaimed filmmaker’s childhood. The 12-year-old rising star is set to portray a character that is inspired by Spielberg’s sister, Anne, who is best known for penning the script for the Tom Hanks-led Big.

This marks Butters’ third major feature project, with the first one being Quentin Tarantino’s comedy-drama Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. Meanwhile, she is currently in production for The Russo Brothers’ newest action film The Gray Man, which will be led by Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans.

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The project will also star two-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine), Paul Dano (The Batman), and Seth Rogen (This Is the End), who have been set for roles inspired by Spielberg’s mother, father, and favorite uncle, respectively. However, Williams’ portrayal is expected to feature a separate and original voice. Gabriel LaBelle (iZombie) has also reportedly been cast for a role inspired by the E.T. and Indiana Jones filmmaker.

The untitled semi-autobiographical feature will be inspired by Spielberg’s childhood in Arizona which the director has often cited as a major inspiration for his films. Growing up in an Orthodox Jewish family has been the subject that the director often goes back and pays homage to through his work.

However, the legendary director has not delved too deeply into his past aside from the HBO Documentary on his legacy. His father Arnold Meyer Spielberg was an American electrical engineer instrumental in contributions for data that would define modern tech. It was his camera that a young Spielberg would pick up to create his first 8 mm films. His father would go on to fund his son’s first independent film, a science fiction adventure titled Firelight. After his parent’s divorce Spielberg moved to Los Angeles with his dad.

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The semi-autobiographical feature has been in development for more than 20 years. It will be directed and produced by Spielberg from a screenplay he will co-write with Tony Kushner. Producers are Kushner and Kristie Macosko Krieger. Production is expected to begin this summer.


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