There was only one rehearsal before shooting. In multiple interviews, Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer said that director Luca Guadagnino asked them one day to come outside to do a rehearsal in the backyard of the villa. They walked to a patch of grass and flipped their scripts to a randomly selected scene to practice. When they opened the script, the page only read, "Elio and Oliver roll around in the grass making out." Chalamet and Hammer looked at each other and said, "Alright, let's go!" Just seconds into the making out scene, however, Guadagnino stepped in and directed them to act more "passionately." So they started making out and continued to do so, and no one told them to stop. Eventually, the two actors stopped, looked around and realized Guadagnino had just walked away, leaving them rolling around in the grass. This was their only rehearsal.
Director Luca Guadagnino told The Hollywood Reporter he was not interested in including explicit sex scenes in the film because the tone would have been very different from what he was looking for. He wanted the audience to completely rely on the emotional travel of these people and feel first love. He did not want the audience to find any difference or discrimination toward these characters.
In an interview on Quotidien (2016), Timothée Chalamet revealed that Armie Hammer suffered wardrobe malfunctions from the shorts he wore throughout the movie, and his testicles had to be digitally edited out of some shots as a result.
During an interview at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2017, director Luca Guadagnino said he had already planned to film at least one sequel to the movie, stating, "I want to do a sequel because Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel - they are all gems. The texture we built together is very consistent. We created a place in which you believe in the world before them. They are young but they are growing up. If I paired the age of Elio in the film with the age of Timothée, in three years' time Timothée will be 25, as would Elio by the time the second story was set." This would mean that the sequel would be released in 2020. In the source novel, Elio and Oliver do meet again fifteen years after their first encounter, but Guadagnino said that the plot of his sequel would not necessarily follow the coda in the novel.
In the book, Elio is 17 years old and Oliver is 24. Timothée Chalamet was 20 years old when the film was shot, while Armie Hammer was 29. The film is set in Italy, and the age of consent in the country is 14.
Producer Peter Spears said the film is dedicated to Bill Paxton, stating, "My husband, Brian Swardstrom, was Bill's best friend and agent for almost his entire career. Brian and Bill came to visit us in the set while we were away filming in Crema, Italy, on their way to Cannes where Bill had a movie premier. Bill and Luca became friends, as they had been great admirers of each other's work for many years, and Luca decided to honor his memory by dedicating the movie to him. A very moving gesture for which Brian and I will be forever grateful."
Sufjan Stevens wrote two original songs for the film when only one was requested. The songs were "Visions of Gideon" and "Mystery of Love." Stevens was asked to remake his song "Futile Devices" (from the album The Age of Adz), with piano to be close to Elio.
Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet did not have to audition for the film. Chalamet was cast in 2013, after his agent introduced him to director Luca Guadagnino. When Guadagnino decided to do the film years later, he called Chalamet. Guadagnino cast Hammer after "falling in love with him" when the director saw him in The Social Network (2010), as he told Out magazine in October 2017.
In an October 2017 interview with Variety, screenwriter James Ivory said that both Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet had it written into their contracts that they would not have to do full-frontal nudity, even though Ivory's screenplay stipulated that both characters would appear fully nude. He expressed his impatience with this in the interview: " I think is kind of a pity....it's just this American attitude. Nobody seems to care that much, or be shocked, about a totally naked woman. It's the men. This is something that must be so deeply cultural that one should ask: 'Why?'"
Both the source novel and the original screenplay included much more explicit sex scenes (both gay and straight encounters) and full-frontal nudity but Luca Guadagnino excised several moments from the finished film unless they felt organic to the plot and themes of the film as he did not want any to feel gratuitous.
Director Luca Guadagnino told Billboard's Pop Shop Podcast that he and his team of filmmakers researched which songs would have been contemporary radio hits during the summer of 1983 in Italy and the summers before, and they used that to choose a number of the songs for the soundtrack. They also considered which time of day the songs would have been played, from the radio to the discotheque.
Timothée Chalamet, in an interview with The Canadian Press news agency, said that director Luca Guadagnino was tempted during production to buy the Italian villa where the film was shot--which was not too far from his apartment in a nearby town. Chalamet said a group of others on the production talked him out of the purchase.
In the scene where Elio is waiting for Oliver ('Futile devices' playing in the background), the film has light bleeding into it and you can see the sprocket holes. This was an accident which the Director decided to keep as it gives the scene an ephemeral quality.
In various interviews both Timothée Chalamet (Elio) and Armie Hammer (Oliver) told the press that the atmosphere shown in the movie is the exact same feeling they had about being in Crema, Italy. While in Italy most people like to work for 8 hours and then get the night off - Timothée and Armie spent their free time together having Espressos, going to dinner at restaurants, hanging out at their hotel rooms, watching movies and listening to music together. They became very close during these few weeks in Crema and are still very close friends to this day.
In the book, Elio is an Italian-American kid who speaks Italian and English. In the film, since Timothée Chalamet is fluent in French, his character speaks three languages namely, English, Italian and French.
This film was based on André Aciman's acclaimed debut novel "Call Me By Your Name," published in 2007. Producer Peter Spears optioned Aciman's novel before it was published, after seeing an early galley in 2007.
In an interview with the website Creative Screenwriting in May 2017, James Ivory revealed that initially, he and Luca Guadagnino would co-direct the film. The rights to the novel were optioned by some friends of Ivory who lived in upstate New York, in which one of them was an agent in Hollywood and the other was then a would-be producer. They asked Ivory whether he would be interested in being an executive producer on a film adaptation of the book if they were able to get it going, and Ivory agreed. Time passed, and they unable to get it going because they could not find anyone to direct that had a track record. They then found Guadagnino and he made the suggestion that he co-direct the film with Ivory. They asked Ivory if he would be willing to co-direct it with Guadagnino, and though he did not really know him, Ivory said, "Sure, but if I do that I want to have my own screenplay." Ivory did not want anybody else writing the screenplay if he were co-directing and he spent nine months writing it, and because of the screenplay they were finally able to raise the money to make the film. However, the French financier thought that it would be awkward to have two directors working together, so Ivory sold the rights to the screenplay to Guadagnino's company and the film was made by them.
This film was shown in the Philippines as part of the CinemaOne Originals 2017 lineup. Four screenings were initially planned, all of which sold out, prompting the festival heads to add an additional screening which also sold out.
To add to the setting in the early 1980s, two references to contemporary movies are briefly visible: When Elio and Oliver are in town, a cinema poster in the background announces Tootsie (1982). When they are at the newsstand, a picture on the magazine rack shows the Millennium Falcon in front of a half-built Death Star, a scene from Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983).
The film in 2018 was nominated for 4 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor for Timothée Chalamet, and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song) for Sufjan Stevens for the song "Mystery of Love" and won one Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for James Ivory. Ivory, at age 89, became the oldest winner of a competitive Oscar surpassing the achievement of music composer Ennio Morricone at age 87.
Towards the end, when Elio's father is discussing Elio's friendship with Oliver, he says "Because it was him, because it was me." This is a quotation from Michel de Montaigne's essay "On friendship." Montaigne is discussing his friendship with an older man, though there is nothing in the essay to suggest that it was anything other than a platonic friendship.
In the book, the guest gay couple were referred to as flowery gussied up version of Thompson and Thomson (without the "p") Twins and also as Tweedledum and Tweedledee because they showed up wearing purple shirts each carrying a bunch of white flowers.
The fly found on Elios shirt in December can actually happen. Very often, if a person brings house plants into the home in the fall after being outdoors during the summer, hibernating flies that have burrowed into the soil will sometimes get confused by the warmth in the house and, thinking spring has arrived, will come out of hibernation. A way to prevent this is to put the entire pot under water before bringing the plant indoors.
When Elio complains at the dinner table that he finds Oliver "arrogante" (arrogant) for saying "later," he is wearing a J. Crew Slim Secret Wash shirt with red and white stripes. J. Crew is an American company that was founded in 1983, the same year Elio and Oliver meet.
According to director Luca Guadagnino, the decision to go away from the retrospective aspect of the book was made because he wanted to focus on the essence. He wanted the audience to immerse themselves in these characters and not have the story be driven by the consciousness of a third party or the narrator in another position in time. He wanted the audience to grow with them.
Regarding the peach scene, director Luca Guadagnino went to Timothée Chalamet and told him that he had tried masturbating with a peach himself and found that it was indeed possible to do so. Therefore, he thought they should do the scene. Chalamet responded that he had also tried it and agreed to do the scene.
In the novel, Elio and Oliver meet again fifteen years after their summer together. Oliver is married and has children, and he is a professor. They meet another time five years later, and Elio's father has passed away.
In the book, Oliver visits the Perlman family again at Christmas and announces that he intends to marry next summer. In the movie version, Armie Hammer makes the announcement over the telephone when he calls the family from the US.