Coming Soon

Josh O’Connor’s queer romance is coming sooner than anticipated

The History of Sound is making steady progress toward the present. The upcoming gay romance, starring Paul Mescal and Josh O’Connor, has a new release window aiming for less than a year.

The History of Sound is based on the Pushcart Prize-winning short story of the same name by Ben Shattuck. It takes place during WWI and follows two men, Lionel (Mescal) and David (O’Connor), who embark on a journey to record the voices, folk songs and stories of their American countrymen, falling in love in the process.

The film adaptation is directed by Oliver Hermanus, who recently helmed the latest entry in televised bisexual chaos, Mary & George. In a recent interview with Awards Watch, Hermanus gave an update on The History of Sound’s production timeline.

Filming began in February and wrapped in two months. With principal photography out of the way, there was hope the film might make the festival circuit this fall. Sadly, in a movie where the very concept of sound is a central element, more time is needed to record the score and audio production—which includes singing by both Mescal and O’Connor.

“Venice asked for it but it’s not ready,” Hermanus explained. “We have a lot of score to create, Paul [Mescal] and Josh [O’Connor] sing in it, and it’s all about sound.”

Instead, Hermanus is planning to premiere the film at the 2025 Cannes Festival, which generally takes place around May. While this tentative release window is less than a year away, we’ll likely have to wait even longer for a general theatrical release.

In the meantime, photos of the two actors in full period garb have already been making the rounds online.

Both Mescal and O’Connor have starred in acclaimed gay dramas—All of Us Strangers and God’s Own Country respectively. It’s safe to say there’s no shortage of queer movie fans hotly anticipating a combined Mescal/O’Connor romance, and the fact that the actors’ chemistry is reportedly off the charts doesn’t help matters.

But the film aims to be much more than another period piece bodice-ripper. Hermanus called its source material a “flawlessly beautiful short story” in an interview with Variety. “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 is 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. This undeniably powerful story will certainly resonate with audiences the world over.”

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