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01/25/2018 06:25 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2018

'CMBYN' Director Says AIDS To Be 'Very Relevant' In Film's Sequel

Luca Guadagnino has plans to expand the story into a "Before Sunrise"-like series.

If director Luca Guadagnino has his way, a “Call Me by Your Name” sequel ― actually, several ― could be on the way. 

Guadagnino, who helmed the Oscar-nominated drama, says he hopes to expand the love story of Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and Oliver (Armie Hammer) into a “Before Sunrise”-like series that follows the characters over the years.

But purists needn’t fret: the director told The Hollywood Reporter that he plans to return to André Aciman’s 2007 novel to pick up exactly where the first film left off.

“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 André Aciman that the story can continue,” Guadagnino said. “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” has earned almost unanimous praise from critics and received four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Chalamet. Still, a number of dissenting voices have called out the film for steering clear of references to politics and homophobia, as well as omitting explicit sex

Guadagnino seemed poised to address such criticisms, saying he’d like a sequel to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and ’90s head on. 

“I think it’s going to be a very relevant part of the story,” the director said. “I think Elio will be a cinephile, and I’d like him to be in a movie theater watching Paul Vecchiali’s ‘Once More,’” he said. (Released in 1988, the French film made history as that country’s first to address AIDS.)

For his part, Aciman supports the idea of a “Call Me By Your Name” followup, though he told New York Magazine’s Vulture blog in December, “I’ve said what I had to say.” 

Regardless of where the next chapter in Elio and Oliver’s romance takes us, here’s hoping we’ll find at least one reprise of this: 

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