Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood, filmed over 12 years and finally released in 2014, is one of the most ambitious movies of all time. Most filmmakers would be happy having that sort of time-consuming project in the rearview mirror, but apparently not Linklater. The Dazed & Confused and Before Trilogy director is teaming up with Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein and Ben Platt for a new multi-year movie.
This one is an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim‘s acclaimed musical Merrily We Roll Along, itself based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The play takes place over the course of 20 years and, reportedly, Linklater plans to stay true to that timeline.
The play follows Franklin Shepard, a Broadway composer who abandons his theatre career in New York to produce movies in Los Angeles. It begins at the height of his Hollywood fame and moves backwards in time, showing snapshots of the most important moments in Frank’s life that shaped the man he is today.
Platt will play Frank, while Feldstein will play Frank’s best friend, theatre critic Mary Flynn. Sources say the film is being shot in reverse chronological order, as the play and musical end when the characters are in their mid-20s and just embarking on their entertainment careers.
Platt already has musical experience, having starred in the hit Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen. He’s also one of the stars in Ryan Murphy‘s upcoming Netflix series, The Politician. Feldstein broke out with Lady Bird and Booksmart, and just signed on to play Monica Lewinsky in the upcoming season of American Crime Story.
She and Platt have previously shared the screen together in the indie comedy The Female Brain.
Obviously this is a huge project to undertake, and certainly an exciting one. But it must be strange for Platt and Feinstein to be acting on a project that isn’t going to be seen for twenty years. At least they know they’ll still be working in two decades time.
Considering the success of Boyhood – critical acclaim and six Oscar nominations – Merrily We Roll Along should come with a lot of hype. And probably a lot of pressure too. We will likely be hearing on-and-off reports about it for years. Boyhood shot about two weeks a year, though mostly in secret, so this time expect some yearly-ish updates.
For a new Linklater film available to watch now – yes, in 2019, not 2039 – check out Where’d You Go Bernadette, starring Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig and Judy Greer, which is in cinemas now.