Filmmaker Enrico Casarosa was “a little bit surprised” by comparisons of his new movie, Luca, to Call Me By Your Name.
The two films have a lot in common, including their Italian seaside settings and coming of age storylines, and the main character in Luca also shares the same first name as Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino.
However, Enrico insists that the comparisons weren’t intentional, telling Entertainment Tonight: “As much as Luca Guadagnino is quite awesome — I love his movies, we always looked at this very much in that time pre-boyfriends and girlfriends and pre-romance."
He goes on to reveal there’s actually no romance at all in the upcoming animated movie, unlike 2017's Call Me By Your Name which saw a 17-year-old student, played by Timothée Chalamet fall in love with an older man, portrayed by Armie Hammer.
“And we had to actually defend that, because in the middle of this journey, people were like, ‘Well, just let it be a true triangle.’ But we just wanted it to be about friendship," he explained.
“I feel like we have wonderful movies coming up that deal a little bit more with after puberty, where there is the puppy love and the romantic side. It wasn’t something that was part of the DNA of this.”
Enrico hopes people will be able to identify with the characters and themes explored in Luca.
“I wanted it really to be a little more in that earlier stage of trying to find yourself," he said. "But I do appreciate that people can read into any kind of oddness and outsiderness of these characters, that I hope there’s something universal for everyone to take from it.”
Luca debuts on Disney+ on 18 June.