To make his 2014 film Boyhood a reality, director Richard Linklater periodically shot actors Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater and Ethan Hawke over the course of 12 years. The end result garnered plenty of critical acclaim, including several Academy Award nominations and an Oscar statue for Arquette. Since then, Linklater has busied himself with much smaller, less time-consuming fare, but according to a new report, it seems he’s about to embark on yet another length project.
According to Collider, Broadway star Ben Platt and Booksmart breakout Beanie Feldstein will co-star in Linklater’s brewing adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Merrily We Roll Along, the story of which takes place over 20 years. The filmmaker’s longtime collaborator, Ginger Sledge, is producing the project with him. What’s more, Collider’s report is also claiming that sources familiar with the project are saying that Jason Blum’s Blumhouse banner is getting involved.
The story follows the life of Broadway composer turned Hollywood star Franklin Shepard, who abandons his beginnings in New York for fame on the west coast. This includes abandoning his friends, among them the theater critic Mary Flynn. Platt will play Shepard and Feldstein is expected to portray Flynn. Interestingly, while Boyhood was both shot and edited chronologically, Merrily We Roll Along‘s story actually takes place in reverse. So, if and when this 20-year project is successfully completed, it will actually begin with Platt and Feldstein’s older selves and travel back in time.
Needless to say, news of the report quickly spread online and engulfed social media in a predictably diverse array of gleeful celebrations and snarky jokes.
MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG
😱I AM FREAKING OUT😱https://t.co/mz8AgP9atc
— Oliver Sava (@OliverSava) August 29, 2019
One thing I will unreservedly give Richard Linklater: he *does* try shit
— A Wife Less Ordinary (@bybowes) August 29, 2019
I am skeptical of Richard Linklater's 20 year project because Boyhood is not a good movie. pic.twitter.com/SJUNv1moOZ
— Sarah (@Cinesnark) August 29, 2019
Richard Linklater: I’m gonna film my next movie over the next 20 years.
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) August 29, 2019
richard linklater is gonna direct the next twenty years of my life, it has just been announced, starring myself (diplo guests)
— Naomi Fry (@frynaomifry) August 29, 2019
DAZED AND CONFUSED (1993): An early Richard Linklater effort, in which we watch an ensemble cast age just one day.
— Eric Allen Hatch (@ericallenhatch) August 29, 2019
i still want the full production as performed by the characters of LADY BIRD but i'll take it https://t.co/PEfLnEEuH3
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) August 29, 2019
Richard Linklater when critics review Merrily in 20 years pic.twitter.com/A7II4zEKlj
— John Bonazzo (@johnbonazzo) August 29, 2019
A bold reimagining. Act Two takes place entirely in a bunker
— Ben Mekler (@benmekler) August 29, 2019
"It's my pleasure to welcome to the 2039 Sundance Film Festival… MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG!" pic.twitter.com/TQTVCUOwzS
— Alison Willmore (@alisonwillmore) August 29, 2019
Can’t wait to tell Richard Linklater I’m on year 32 of tweaking a joke.
— Laurie Kilmartin (@anylaurie16) August 29, 2019
Even Blumhouse’s official Twitter account got in on the action. They seemingly confirmed the news, though with a joke.
The most ambitious thing about this tremendous project we are undertaking with Richard Linklater is that we boldly assume there will be a planet in 20 years.
— Blumhouse (@blumhouse) August 29, 2019
And then there’s Kevin Daly, a Twitter user who, back when Boyhood came out in 2014, joked that someone should do something similar with Merrily We Roll Along. Well…
Idea: a film adaptation of ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ shot ‘Boyhood’-style. Discuss.
— Kevin Daly (@kevinddaly) August 12, 2014