How does Richard Linklater, who spent more than a dozen years shooting his acclaimed film Boyhood, expect to properly followup something like that? Sure, he’s done other movies since including his latest, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, but as far as multi-year productions go those don’t exactly grow on trees. But Linklater has found one, an adaptation of Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along, which he’ll be working on for…oh, say the next two decades.
This is all going to sound ridiculous but remember how Boyhood sounded in the beginning, and that ultimately led to six Oscar nominations. Anyway, Collider reports Linklater will team up with Blumhouse Productions on Merrily We Roll Along, with Dear Evan Hansen‘s Ben Platt and Booksmart‘s Beanie Feldstein set to star. That’s fine, but the kicker is that Linklater will shoot the movie at various intervals over the next 20 years. Seriously. So he better get along with his cast.
Why can’t Linklater just shoot the movie under a normal timeline? He plans to stay true to the musical and the original 1934 play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, which takes place over 20 years in following the career of Franklin Shepard, a Broadway composer who launches a filmmaking career in Los Angeles. The story begins at the height of his career and moves backward in time to show the key moments and people in his life along the way. Platt will take the lead role, with Feldstein as his best friend and theater critic, Mary Flynn.
Again, so why can’t Linklater just shoot the movie under a normal timeline? There’s no real answer for that, but it’s one helluva gimmick.
Naturally, there’s no release date yet but don’t make any plans for 2039, okay? You might be busy.