The Italian Riviera is a long way away from Maine, but Disney-Pixar’s Luca shares a surprising connection to the quiet New England state. Luca director Enrico Casarosa recently sat down for a press interview, along with producer Andrea Warren and stars Jacob Tremblay (Luca), Jack Dylan Grazer (Alberto), Emma Berman (Giulia), Maya Rudolph (Daniela), and Jim Gaffigan (Lorenzo).
Luca takes place in the 1950s in the fictional town of Portorosso on the Italian Riveria. It centers on a young sea creature named Luca (Jacob Tremblay) and his adventures on land with his newfound friends Alberto — who is also a sea creature — and Giulia, a human Luca and Alberto meet along the way.
Casarosa, who is from Italy, shared stories about how his own childhood adventures and friendships helped shape the story that he wanted to tell with Luca. He also revealed that he took inspiration from an interesting person — the king of horror himself, Stephen King.
Yeah, it’s interesting, like, I realized in my first picture I realized we hadn’t done a actually kids being kids, so like a Stand By Me movie, so that was kind of part of me thinking about that. I mean, I feel like, um, it’s also specifically a little bit pre-romance. That was something that I was interested in as well because there’s just that moment that maybe we’re not thinking about boyfriends and girlfriends yet, which is really more about the friendships.
Stand by Me (1986) tells the story of a man, Gordie Lachance, as he recounts the story of him and his best friends as they journey through the woods of main to find a dead body and is based on King’s short story The Body. While there is, fortunately, no dead body in Luca, the story is all about the power of friendship between two young boys as they come of age in the Italian Riviera.
Casarosa also revealed that another coming-of-age story about two young girls would also be produced by Disney-Pixar, but did not provide additional details at this time.
Be sure to watch Luca when it premieres on Disney+ on June 18!
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