Paulo Sorrentino's 'The Early Years' Begins Shooting, Storyline Revealed

'In the Future'

Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, whose latest project, The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza), won a Golden Globe for best foreign film and may have the inside track as the Oscars approach, already is at work on his next project, scheduled for release in late 2014. Not much is known about the film except that it will be called In the Future, it will star Michael Caine, and it will be in English -- Sorrentino’s second foray into English-language cinema, following the 2011 drama This Must Be the Place, which starred Sean Penn.


The Oscar winner's star-studded film will tell the tale of a retired orchestra conductor being wooed out of retirement by the British Queen.

ROME -- Shooting began Monday in Switzerland for Oscar winner Paolo Sorrentino's The Early Years (La Giovinezza). Formerly titled In The Future.

Tthe film has an all-star cast that includes Michael CaineWillem Dafoe, Rachel Weisz, Harvey Keitel, Jane Fonda and Paul Dano.

New details about the secretive project have also been released. The film will tell the story of a well-known but retired orchestra conductor, played by Caine, spending a holiday at a mountain lodge with his daughter (Weisz) and her friend (Dano). The vacation becomes complicated when an emissary from Queen Elizabeth comes from London to request a performance at Buckingham Palace for the birthday of Prince Philip, which the conductor tries to refuse.

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It is not clear whether the film's title is also a direct reference to Giovinezza, Italy's national anthem between 1924 and 1943, during the time of Fascist leader Benito Mussolini. Any performance of the song is now illegal in Italy. 

Sorrentino, a noted name in Italy after having five films screen in competition in Cannes, became an international figure when his latest feature, The Great Beauty (La grande belezza) won the Oscar for best foreign language film -- Italy's first Oscar in that category in 15 years. Sorrentino said his rising fortunes helped him attract a star-studded cast for his new project.

The Early Years (not the official English-language translation of the title) will be Sorrentino's second English-language directorial effort, following This Must Be the Place, from 2011, which starred Sean Penn as an aging rocker.  

Twitter: @EricJLyman