David Lynch Joins the Cast of Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Fabelmans’ in Secret Role

The "Blue Velvet" director joins a cast that already includes Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, and Paul Dano.
David Lynch attends the David Lynch Foundation Music Celebration at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
David Lynch
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age drama “The Fabelmans” just got a new twist in its casting. Variety reports that Oscar-winning “Blue Velvet” and “Mulholland Drive” filmmaker David Lynch has joined the cast of the ensemble drama in a top-secret, closely guarded role. Lynch is no stranger to being in front of the camera, as he has starred in many of his own projects, including as loud-talking FBI agent Gordon Cole in the original “Twin Peaks” and its revival, “The Return,” and he also starred in the prequel film “Fire Walk with Me.” He also lent his voice to “Family Guy” and “Robot Chicken.”

Lynch joins a cast that already includes Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Paul Dano, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” breakout Julia Butters, and rising star Gabriel LaBelle. The movie is written by Spielberg with Tony Kushner, who most recently penned the screenplay for Spielberg’s Oscar contender “West Side Story.” The film is loosely based on Spielberg’s childhood growing up in Arizona, and features Williams and Dano as characters inspired by his parents.

Rogen takes on a role influenced by Spielberg’s uncle, while LaBelle plays an aspiring filmmaker named Sammy. Butters plays his sister, Anne. Spielberg re-teams on the film with his usual creative ensemble, which includes cinematographer Janusz Kaminski and his team at Amblin Entertainment. Universal Pictures is slating a November 23, 2022, release for the film. Principal photography began in July 2021. It’s the first Spielberg film to be released by Universal since “Munich” back in 2005.

As for Lynch, the filmmaker continues to post his weather reports on YouTube, and was rumored back in November of 2020 to be chipping away at a project under the working title of “Wisteria.” But whatever shape that takes remains shrouded in mystery, as with any Lynch offering. Lynch’s last feature film project was his 2006 “Inland Empire.” From there he returned to the beloved world of “Twin Peaks” for the Showtime limited series “The Return.” The filmmaker has yet to formally announce any new feature films or television projects since “Twin Peaks: The Return” wrapped its run in September 2017, though the short “What Did Jack Do?” debuted on Netflix in early 2020.

IndieWire has reached out to representatives at Universal for comment.

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