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.
In September 2016, James Ivory revealed that Shia LaBeouf went to New York to do a reading for the film, and according to Ivory, he was great. But as time passed, LaBeouf had various troubles, so the production company felt they couldn't wisely go with him. Ivory thought they could have, but the production company didn't think so.
Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet did not have to do a chemistry test for this film. Director Luca Guadagnino does not make chemistry test for his films and thought the two actors were going to be cool between one another.
Director Luca Guadagnino told The Hollywood Reporter that he wasn't interested in including explicit sex scenes in the film, the tone would've 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 didn't want the audience to find any difference or discrimination toward these characters.
Producer Peter Spears said the film is dedicated to Bill Paxton because, "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 are "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 didn't 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 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 live in upstate New York, 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 weren't able to get it going because they couldn't find anyone to direct that had a track record. Then they found Luca 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 didn't really know him, Ivory said, "Sure, but if I do that I want to have my own screenplay." Ivory didn't 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. But 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 they made it.
They only ever had one rehearsal before shooting. In multiple interviews Timothee and Armie have said that Luca [Guadagnino] the director one day asked them to come outside to do a rehearsal in the backyard of the villa. They walked to a patch of grass and flipped their script to a randomly selected scene to practice. When they opened the script, the page only said 'Elio and Oliver roll around in the grass making out'. They looked at each other and said, "alright, let's go!" But just seconds into the making out scene, Luca stepped in and directed them to act more "passionately." So they start making out, and making out, and making out and no one tells them to stop. Eventually they both stopped, looked around and Luca had just walked away leaving them rolling around in the grass. That was their only rehearsal.
Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet's first ice-breaker was in rehearsal for a scene in which Elio and Oliver kiss in the grass. As the two began to kiss, director Luca Guadagnino stopped them and instructed them to kiss with more passion and feeling. The actors continued their rehearsal for a few moments before realizing that Guadagnino had walked away and left them alone in the grass.
During an interview at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2017, Luca Guadagnino said that he has already planned to film at least one sequel to Call Me by Your Name. "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." That would mean that the sequel would be released in 2020. Although in the source novel, Elio and Oliver do meet again fifteen years after their first encounter, Guadagnino said that the plot of his sequel would not necessarily follow the coda in the novel.
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.
The film is dedicated to actor Bill Paxton, who died in February 2016. Brian Swardson, the husband of one of the film's producers, Peter Spears, was Bill Paxton's best friend and agent. He is also the agent for Timothée Chalamet. Bill visited the set in Italy and became friends with director Luca Guadagnin. Luca decided to honor Bill by dedicating the film to him.
Luca Guadagnino told Billboard's Pop Shop Podcast that he and his team of filmmakers researched which songs would've been contemporary radio hits during the summer of 1983 in Italy and the summers before and used that to choose a number of the songs for the soundtrack. They also considered which time of day the songs would be played, from the radio to the discotheque.
Timothée Chalamet, in an interview with The Canadian Press news agency, said that Luca Guadagnino was tempted during production to buy the Italian villa where the film was shot - which isn't 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 novel, Elio and Oliver meet again 15 years after their summer together. Oliver has married and had children, and Elio has become a professor. They then meet again 5 years later, and Elio's father has passed away.
Regarding the peach scene, Luca went to Timothée and told him that he had tried it out himself and it was in deed possible to do, so therefore he thought they should do the scene. Timothée responded by saying he had also tried it and agreed to do the scene.
According to Luca, 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.