Annapurna to produce Richard Linklater’s ‘Dazed’ spiritual sequel

Richard Linklater grew into one of North America's premiere filmmaking voices with films like “Slacker,” “Dazed and Confused,” “School of Rock,” “Bernie” and the “Before” trilogy, but it took this year's “Boyhood” for full approval from auteur connoisseur Megan Ellison. Deadline reports that Ellison's artistically-inclined production company Annapurna Pictures will produce Linklater's next film, what he refers to as a “spiritual sequel” to “Dazed.”

Set in 1980, multiple sources report that “That's What I'm Talking About” follows a freshman student experiencing his first weekend as both an eager college student and the pitcher for the university's nationally ranked baseball team. “Glee” actor Blake Jenner will play the young man, who finds his willpower tested by his party-read teammates. Tyler Hoechlin (“Teen Wolf”), Wyatt Russell (“22 Jump Street”), Ryan Guzman (“Step Up All In”), Zoey Deutch (“Vampire Academy”), Will Brittain (“A Teacher”), and Glen Powell (“The Expendables 3”) will costar.

Linklater is reportedly wrapping up casting on the film and set to shoot in near future. Paramount will release the film in North America.

“Boyhood” is very much an Oscar hopeful, with IFC doing what it can to stage a “David vs. Goliath” campaign for Linklater and his cast (it was recently announced that Patricia Arquette would compete in the Best Supporting Actress category). As “Boyhood” continues to make waves at the box office, the film's producers, Jonathan Sehring (also IFC Films President) and John Sloss, keep it in the conversation. Read Kris's discussion with the two insiders here.

Ellison on board “That's What I'm Talking About” gives Linklater's “Boyhood” follow-up even more of a prestige factor. In the past two years, the producer earned Best Picture nominations for three Annapurna films: “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Her,” and “American Hustle.” This year, she rests her laurels on Bennett Miller's “Foxcatcher.”