Writer/director Greta Gerwig made Sacramento a happening place through her film Lady Bird, and now she wants to make three more movies set in the California city. Gerwig’s coming-of-age tale Lady Bird became one of the big Indie hits of 2017, grossing $47 million. Now it’s nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. The film was also named Best Picture of 2017 by the National Society of Film Critics.
Lady Bird stars Saoirse Ronan as a Sacramento high school senior who dreams of moving to “where culture is.” Lady Bird’s real name is Christine, but the headstrong teen makes everyone call her by her oddball chosen nickname. Ronan earned her third career Oscar nomination for her winning portrayal of willful Lady Bird. Laurie Metcalf also earned an Oscar nod for playing Lady Bird’s mother, with whom the teen has a stormy relationship. Greta Gerwig drew on her own experiences growing up in Sacramento to craft her finely detailed, affecting portrait of a young woman on the cusp of adulthood, struggling to assert her own identity, and learning the hard lessons of life along the way.
In the first edition of the new podcast from studio A24, producers of Lady Bird, Gerwig talked about wanting to revisit Lady Bird‘s Sacramento in future movies. Gerwig says she hopes to eventually set three more movies in the California capital. The plan would be for each film to explore a different area of the diverse city. Gerwig said (via Vulture):
“I’d like to make a total of four films that take place [in Sacramento]. I would like to do a quartet of Sacramento films. It’s inspired by the Elena Ferrante Neapolitan quartet — she wrote these four books that took place mainly in Naples. They’re so great. I thought, Oh I’d like to do that. Because [Lady Bird] was one part of Sacramento. There’s a lot of different parts of Sacramento that I’d like to explore, too. I feel like I have the privilege of being from a place. I’m really from that place — my family didn’t move, my family’s still there, my friends are still there — I feel like I can actually speak to it with some feeling.”
Lady Bird takes place largely in Sacramento’s working-class neighborhoods of thrift shops and convenience stores. Of course, Lady Bird also experiences how rich kids live via her friendships with Catholic school classmates Danny (Lucas Hedges) and Jenna (Odeya Rush). Conscious of her family’s background, Lady Bird later pretends she lives in Danny’s grandma’s fancy house, a move that comes back to bite her. Lady Bird makes it clear in the movie’s memorable opening scene that she dreams of escaping Sacramento. But by movie’s end she has come to appreciate the place where she grew up.
Greta Gerwig clearly appreciates Sacramento and how it helped to shape her as a person and filmmaker. Affection for the city comes through every frame of Lady Bird, so it’s no surprise she wants to return there. Ultimately, Sacramento could become for Greta Gerwig what New York was for Woody Allen. Or what Rome was for Fellini. The question is, will Lady Bird/Christine herself show up in any of these future Greta-verse movies? Or will Gerwig create entirely new characters for each film, uniting them via theme and setting?
Gerwig, by the way, isn’t the only director looking to make follow-ups to their current Oscar nominated films. Luca Guadagnino has previously spoken about potentially making several sequels to his Best Picture nominee Call Me By Your Name, revisiting the characters of Elio and Oliver in different time periods. Jordan Peele too has discussed possibly doing a sequel to his horror film Get Out. We’ll find out on March 4th, 2018 if Greta Gerwig’s first – but possibly not last – Sacramento tale Lady Bird takes home the Oscar for Best Picture. Or if Gerwig herself becomes just the second woman in history to win Best Director.
Source: A24 Podcast (Via Vulture)