Josh O’Connor reportedly in talks to star in new gay romance from Luca Guadagnino

Josh O'Connor
Josh O'Connor in The Crown (Image: Netflix)

The Crown star Josh O’Connor is reportedly in talks to star in a gay romance drama by director Luca Guadagnino.

The Italian director who gave us Call Me By Your Name and the soon-to-be-released Challengers (which O’Connor features in) is working on an adaptation of Pier Vittorio Tondelli’s 1989 novel Separate Rooms.

As per Variety on Monday (25 March) O’Connor is in “advanced talks” to star in the film which focuses on Leo, an Italian writer, mourning his boyfriend, Thomas. The pair meet in Paris but Leo moves around Europe while Thomas is based in Berlin. O’Connor has not commented on the report.

Sources have told the publication that the God’s Own Country actor has already been studying Italian for the role. Variety also noted that Guadagnino has said he will start on the film “soon” with a screenplay by Francesca Manieri. The film is being produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Fremantle. They are also producing the Guadagnino-directed and Daniel Craig-led Queer.

“The tennis is the sex” – Josh O’Connor on Challengers

O’Connor is currently working on the upcoming gay drama The History of Sound with Paul Mescal. The project was first announced back in 2021 with the two actors attached. In January it was confirmed that filming was due to start with on-set images of O’Connor and Mescal being seen online since. The History of Sound will follow characters Lionel (Mescal) and David (O’Connor), who “during the WW1 period, set out to record the lives, voices, and music of their countrymen.”

The British actor will next be seen in Guadagnino’s tennis drama Challengers. He will appear opposite Zendaya and Mike Faist as the trio play characters trapped in a love triangle. “The tennis is the sex,” Josh explained of Challengers in an interview with Empire. “Those moments are so sexy.”

O’Connor has also created a queer coming-of-age movie called Bonus Track with Mike Gilbert. The charmingly awkward teen rom-com follows an aspiring musician and the son of a rockstar trying to win the school talent show.

Challengers is in UK cinemas on 26 April.

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