Paul Mescal and Josh O’Connor’s delayed gay World War One romance movie has finally begun filming

A repeatedly-delayed queer World War One romance, starring Paul Mescal and Josh O’Connor, is believed to have begun shooting.

First announced in 2021 and based on a Pushcart-Prize-winning short story by Ben Shattuck, The History of Sound focuses on young soldiers Lionel, played by All of Us Strangers star Mescal, and David (O’Connor) as they navigate both the battlefield and their feelings for each other.

According to X/Twitter account Film Updates, the adaptation has now begun filming, although this has yet to be confirmed by official sources. Attitude previously reported that production would start in March.

Deadline‘s synopsis of the film reads: “In this snatched, short-lived moment in their young lives, and while discovering the epic sweep of the US, both men are deeply changed.”

Speaking to Variety in 2021, director Oliver Hermanus said: “Paul and Josh are two of the most promising actors of their generation who will share with us deeply soulful performances.

“This is an unexpected love story that needs to be told. It’s a journey through the life of America, across the 20th century and the traditions of American folk music, all seen through the bond between two men immersed in the history of sound.”

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Both (straight) actors haveplayed a queer character on screen before. O’Connor appeared in 2017’s God’s Own Country, as sexually frustrated farmer Johnny Saxby, while Mescal recently starred opposite Andrew Scott in Andrew Haigh’s fantasy drama All of Us Strangers.

Speaking recently to The Sunday Times about playing a gay role, Mescal, said: “The issue is that there have been so many queer performances in cinema that have been offensive, but that’s because the filmmakers and the actors have been careless.”

O’Connor will be seen opposite Mike Faist, who is appearing in the stage version of Brokeback Mountain, and Spider-man star Zendaya, in tennis drama Challengers in April – with some fans hoping for a queer sub-plot.

No release date for The History of Sound has been announced.