Call Me By Your Name: The Sequel?

Director Luca Guadagnino Reportedly Hopes to Make a Decades-Long Saga with the Same Characters

By Sam Eichner ·
Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

Luca Guadagnino, the director of the Oscar-nominated film, Call Me By Your Name, has revealed his intentions to direct a sequel, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

According to the article, Guadagnino hopes the original is just the first installment of “a decades-long Before Sunrise-like series”—the classic Richard Linklater trilogy that checked in with two star-crossed lovers (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy), at three different occasions over the course of nine years.

"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,” Guadanigno told THR, “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?" Guadagnino also said that this potential sequel would make the spread of HIV/AIDS a “very relevant part of the story.”   

Call Me By Your Name, which is nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Timothée Chalamet), Best Adapted Screenplay (James Ivory) and Best Original Song (Sufjan Stevens), tells the story of a summer fling between a 24-year-old American, Oliver (Armie Hammer), who spends a summer working for a renowned professor in Northern Italy, and ends up falling in love with his 17-year-old son, Elio (Chalamet). Guadagnino captures the sensory-overload of first love—its unmistakable power, its mystery and, perhaps most of all, its ephemerality. At the end of the film, months after the summer of their fling, Oliver calls Elio to tell him he’s going to be married, to a woman, and Elio retreats to the fireplace, in tears—one gets the sense that he is crying both from the pain that it’s really over and from the pleasure that pain represents. It’s a devastating scene, to be sure, but it’s not a totally unhappy one.

Which is why the prospect of a sequel, for a fan such as myself, is both exciting and somewhat terrifying: does revisiting Elio and Oliver’s relationship in the future not diminish the meaningfulness of the original movie? Will the pure mystery, the bliss, the agony and ecstasy and fleetingness of first love the movie did so much to evoke not be minimized if it’s reopened years down the road, with the incumbent baggage and resentment?

Perhaps I’m being defensive. And certainly, there were people like me who bemoaned the idea of a sequel to Before Sunrise, which dealt with similar themes of love and loss. Still, that trilogy seemed to wrestle with the notion of whether an intense, whirlwind kind of love-at-first-sight could survive over time; their relationsihp didn’t so much end in the first movie as much as it got put on pause.

Regardless, any sequel would be a long way away. In the more immediate future, I’m just hoping Sufjan Stevens wears wings to his Oscars performance of “Mystery of Love,” and that Timothée Chalamet raps more Cardi B. on the red carpet.  

Sam Eichner

Sam Eichner likes literature, reality television and his twin cats equally. He has consistently been told he needs a shave since he started growing facial hair.

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