Sometimes, we need to be left wanting more
In news that will satisfy fans of pleasingly melodramatic same-sex romance, admirers of gorgeous Italian scenery and the peach industry, André Aciman has said that not only would he welcome a follow-up to Luca Guadagnino’s adaptation of his novel, Call Me By Your Name, he is busy at work on one himself. “I would actually love a sequel to Call Me By Your Name,” he tweeted. “In fact I am writing one.” That chimes with Guadagnino’s own comments this year, when he referred to the film as “the first chapter of the chronicles of the life of these people that we met in this movie”. Who knew that it could all could end up as a Fast and the Furious-style franchise?
Clearly, the story of Elio and Oliver could not be in safer hands, but the prospect of a sequel leaves me torn. There is always danger in going back to a story that demands a specifically emotional kind of attachment. For every Toy Story 2 or Paddington 2, which took original templates and made them bolder and better, there is a Sex and the City 2 (scoff if you like, but I’ll defend the series’ position in the television canon until my Cosmopolitan runs dry), riding roughshod over fondly remembered characters in order to cash in on nostalgia.
It’s unlikely that revisiting Elio and Oliver would be a catastrophe. It just makes me worry that it will unsettle what came before it. (I have never forgiven Skins for going back to Naomi and Emily in adulthood, and then cruelly bumping one of them off.) The film of Call Me By Your Name ended on such a note of completion that I am wary of needing to know more.