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Steven Spielberg casts Paul Dano to play character inspired by his father in upcoming movie

Paul Dano in Love & Mercy
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Paul Dano has joined the cast of Steven Spielberg's upcoming movie based on the director's childhood, with Dano a character based on Spielberg's father.

He joins Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen, who have already been cast to play roles inspired by Spielberg's mother and favorite uncle. The movie will be inspired by his experiences growing up in Arizona, which the director has often spoken about as being a big inspiration for his filmmaking. 

This will be the first time Spielberg has properly explored his early years on screen. The movie also marks the first time since 2001 that Spielberg will be involved in writing the screenplay for one of his movies – his last screenwriting venture was for AI: Artificial Intelligence. Filming is due to start this summer, with a planned release date sometime in 2022.

Spielberg's last big-screen offering was 2018's Ready Player One, a sci-fi adventure movie based on Ernest Cline's young adult novel of the same name. His next movie is a re-telling of the hit musical West Side Story starring Ansel Elgort and Maddie Ziegler, which is due to hit theaters this December.

Meanwhile, we'll next see Dano as The Riddler in The Batman, Matt Reeves' upcoming take on the Caped Crusader with Robert Pattinson in the title role. The actor is also known for his roles in movies like the dark comedy Little Miss Sunshine, epic period drama There Will Be Blood, and Beach Boys' frontman biopic Love & Mercy.

While we wait for Spielberg's next project to hit the big screen, make sure you've caught up on all the best movies of 2020 first.

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.