Richard Linklater has been a bit of a chameleon throughout his career, tackling all kinds of subjects and genres. Coming-of-age films, romances, children’s movies. He even dabbled in animated in the early-to-mid 2000s with films such as Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly, and he’s going back to that well for his next project.
The proficient director will write and direct an animated film for Netflix called Apollo 10½: A Space Age Adventure, and he’s got Jack Black and Glen Powell on board to star. The film will be a hybrid of hand-drawn and computer animation, and is set against the backdrop of the 1969 Apollo mission to the moon.
Inspired by Linklater’s childhood in Houston, the film tells the story of the first moon landing in the summer of 1969 from two interwoven perspectives; the astronaut and mission control view of the triumphant moment, as well as the lesser-seen perspective of what it was like from a child’s perspective, living near NASA but mostly watching it on TV like millions of others.
Linklater has chosen two actors he’s worked with previously in the form of Black and Powell. The former has worked with Linklater on many projects, including School Of Rock and Bernie, while Powell starred in the quasi-Dazed & Confused prequel, Everybody Wants Some!! Zachary Levi and Josh Wiggins will co-star.
“It struck me years ago that this was my film to make, from both a chronological and proximity level – I was there, going into 3rd grade”, said Linklater in a statement.
“Our unique animation style allows both the conjuring of a world long gone, and the flowing, playful expression of memory and imagination. It’s been a fun, creative journey to incorporate things like 3D graphics into a live action shoot to help bring this story to life”.
Linklater has always been an interesting director willing to take risks. Not many filmmakers would have had the patience to make a film like Boyhood over 12 years, and few others would have even attempted an animated film.
Apollo 10½ sounds like a perfect project for him, and with two lovable stars in Black and Powell on board, this could be a heartwarming hit for Netflix when it eventually arrives.