August 30, 2019

"Richard Linklater to Spend Next 20 Years Filming a Merrily We Roll Along Adaptation."

"... Linklater is indeed sticking to the show’s reverse chronology, meaning that he won’t film the beginning of the musical for at least another couple decades... [T]he director gives you no choice but to share in his optimism that, even though there’s a chance that the globe might be reduced to a broiling sphere of molten ash within the next 20 years, there’s also a chance —slim, but real—that there will also be a movie house screening the best version of Merrily We Roll Along..."

Slate reports.

Linklater, who still lives in Austin and has been with but unmarried to the same woman since the 90s, will be 79 years old 20 years from now.

55 comments:

Seeing Red said...

there’s also a chance —slim, but real

Histrionic.

If I believed what they were actually spewing

We never should have made it out of the 70s.

Or the 80s

Or the 90s

Or the aughts.

Seeing Red said...

Slate staff should just all get it over with. For the cause. Or the Revolution.

Or whatever.

Dave Begley said...

I wonder about the financing on that. Spend money now and for the next 20 years and then see cash flow? Bad idea.

My "Frankenstein in Love" will create a marriage boom. Just you people wait and see!

J. Farmer said...

Michael Apted has directed the Up film series since 1970. 63 Up was just released this past June.

Ken B said...

Farmer
Ebert has been raving about that at least since 28 Up. If that weren’t enough of a turn off, and it really should be, I am getting close to 63 myself. I have been observing the process in real time. I expect the Sondheim will be complete before I watch an Up.

Ken B said...

Merrily has some good songs but it just doesn’t work as a theater piece.
Sondheim is a genius but something of a fool. When he works with able collaborators like Hugh Wheeler he produces Sweeney Todd and A Little Night Music — Mozart/da Ponte level stuff. But he works often with George Furth. Those results are more on the level of Schwanda The Bagpiper.

Fernandinande said...

[T]he director gives you no choice but to share in his optimism

False!

Rocketeer said...

Just decided to rewatch Slacker tonight...

J. Farmer said...

@Ken B:

If that weren’t enough of a turn off, and it really should be,

That's certainly a peculiar method for judging a film.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...
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Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I watched Boyhhood. The only interesting aspect was the fact that you were not watching various actors play someone growing up.

Neeto trick using one person and a lotsa time.
The movie was a snooze

Paco Wové said...

"even though there’s a chance that the globe might be reduced to a broiling sphere of molten ash within the next 20 years"

To paraphrase The Simpsons, "zero is a chance".

JZ said...

So? Nobody cares.

Fernandinande said...

To paraphrase The Simpsons, "zero is a chance".

I second The Simpsons because of their documentaries which other people have copied.

Here's one!

Growing Up Springfield
"Growing Up Springfield is his most notable documentary. It follows the lives of the inhabitants of Springfield, starting when they were in third grade and continuing every eight years."

Eric Idle = the snooty British-talkin' documentarian.

Ken B said...

Farmer
Not really, depending on the film. My brother is an almost perfect prediction machine. If he likes it I won’t. If it has any political or racial overtones at all Ebert writes as an activist not a critic. Trump slags a TV show. I bet that makes you at least a little intrigued about it.

Laslo Spatula said...

Twenty years from now the audience will be so Super Mega Woke that the film will be picketed for...well, probably everything.

I am Laslo.

J. Farmer said...

@Ken B:

Not really, depending on the film. My brother is an almost perfect prediction machine. If he likes it I won’t. If it has any political or racial overtones at all Ebert writes as an activist not a critic. Trump slags a TV show. I bet that makes you at least a little intrigued about it.

"Almost perfect"

henry said...

What a tedious person this Linkletter is.

purplepenquin said...

Just decided to rewatch Slacker tonight.

Heh. Truly a classic movie. This is one of my favorite scenes...re-watching it now I releaize how much the cafe in the movie kinda smells/sounds/looks like the comment section of the Cafe posts on this blog.

Ken B said...

Farmer
Almost perfect is a high standard.

Besides, you are misunderstanding me. I am not judging the movie, I am judging the chances I will like the movie. People are finite, and use filters to decide what to spend time on. Some recommendations serve as a warning. I have learned from experience for example not to click any link link Sylwester supplies. Maybe I will miss a gem, but I save a lot of time.

J. Farmer said...
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J. Farmer said...

@Ken B:

Maybe I will miss a gem, but I save a lot of time.

That is certainly true. But I tend to get a little suspicious when I hear someone say something to the effect of "Roget Ebert liked it so it must be shit." Also, I wasn't really recommending the series, only pointing out that I think Linklater has been influenced by them. Boyhood was basically a fictionalized reworking of the concept. But I definitely agree that we have a finite amount of time, and we need mechanisms for deciding where to direct our energy. Happy we can conclude our mutual misunderstanding with some mutual agreement ;)

Marc said...

I saw this report earlier (must have been NYT or Guardian) and didn't read it (because I don't care about RL's films) but am glad to have the tiny puzzle in the headline solved by this post. Thanks!

Sam L. said...

Means nothing to me.

J. Farmer said...

Richard Linklater has made some films I really enjoy, Dazed and Confused being my favorite. But I also enjoyed School of Rock and kinda liked A Scanner Darkly. On the other hand, his remake of Bad News Bears was pretty awful.

PM said...

The constant and irrelevant infusion of 'climate change' or 'Trump' in news articles is the bastard son of Church Lady's..."Could it be Satan!"

Bay Area Guy said...

Linklater made two of the best teenage movies ever, Dazed and Confused (high school) and Everybody Wants Some (college), both set in the 70s.

If you grew up in the 70s, they are works of art for their accuracy and good mojo.

Kevin said...

the film will be picketed for...well, probably everything.

Can you imagine the carbon footprint?

Equipment Maintenance said...

""Richard Linklater to Spend Next 20 Years Filming a Merrily We Roll Along Adaptation.""

Just to be safe, I'm going to get in line now for tickets.

pacwest said...

The first time I saw "Waking Life" I was napping on the couch, drifting in and out of sleep while it was on TV. Surrealistic.

Bilwick said...

I own a copy of the show CD; never saw the show itself, which I understand had a very short life on Broadway. (Jason Alexander was in it, and I once heard him talk on the radio about how he thought it would make him a star . . . and then pffft!) Some of the songs are great.

Temujin said...

I hope I'm around to see the end product. More than that, I hope I know I'm watching it when I'm in the room. Maybe it won't be a room. Maybe it'll just be a plug-in, into my head port. My head sitting by itself on a tray, on a serving table that can be raised or lowered to see out the window.

I don't know if I liked Waking Life or not- all 3 times I watched it. But I could not take my eyes off of it. And I did love the soundtrack.

Maybe it had more of an effect on me than I realized.

Dave Begley said...

Bay:

Glad to see you know your movies. "Frankenstein in Love" was sent to you. It will be a mega hit! Cameo by Frau Altouse.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Isn’t that the ultimate slacker project, twenty years to complete. He’s already done a 12 year movie shoot. Perhaps he would have done better to continue Boyhood into Manhood.

rehajm said...

I’m with bleach bit- cute stunt. Up is a cute stunt. Woody Allen probably took a day to film the same effect when he had the kids talk about themsealves when they grew up. I’m in to leather. Cute.

You still have to make a good movie. How good a movie can a director make when he’s aging along with the movie?

...and yes you climate change jerks- just get it over with already so the rest if us can enjoy the next 11 years and 9 months. I think that’s the time left based on the latest reset...

Chuck said...


Blogger Dave Begley said...
I wonder about the financing on that. Spend money now and for the next 20 years and then see cash flow? Bad idea.

My "Frankenstein in Love" will create a marriage boom. Just you people wait and see!


That is a very good question. The Golden Globe-winnng “Boyhood” by Linklater answered it. I know one of the Boyhood producers and I asked about it. He had the same concern in the concept and financing stage. And then it all came together amazingly well.

Turned out to be easy. Unusual, but easy.

Charlie Eklund said...

@purplepenguin-ectuo

Although I suspect that you and I would rarely be in agreement politically, you made a great call comparing that Slackers clip with the comments section here and, frankly, the comments sections everywhere. Well played indeed.

Charlie Eklund said...

PS: not sure what that “-ectuo” is but, as they say, this is the well and this is the water. Drink full. And responsibly!

itzik basman said...

Don’t know about 20 years but Boyhood is my movie pantheon with about 5 or 6 others,

itzik basman said...

Don’t know about 20 years but Boyhood is my movie pantheon with about 5 or 6 others,

Wince said...

Richard Linklater to Spend Next 20 Years Filming a Merrily We Roll Along Adaptation.

Whatever happened to 'Linkletters' simply jumping out the window when they're tripping on acid?

Saint Croix said...

His finest work is probably still Waking Life, which is fantastic. The animation is sublime.

Also love School of Rock, which remains Jack Black's finest performance and the only film to really capture his maniacal brilliance.

Boyhood and Slacker are almost as good.

Even Linklater's bad movies are at least somewhat interesting or unusual or cool in some way. One of those filmmakers who is always worth checking out.

readering said...

I wonder how many more times Sondheim will re-write Merrily We Roll Along before Linklater finishes shooting.

Clyde said...

I had no idea what the show was about; I'd only heard of it from the 1981 Carly Simon album Torch, which closed with the song "Not A Day Goes By." That album was recorded while her marriage to James Taylor was breaking up, and the raw emotions she was feeling come through on every song. I can't listen to that album at work because some of the songs can make me cry.

Saint Croix said...

Slate:

Linklater has to assume that there will still be an inhabitable planet and not unrecognizably ravaged by climate change or nuclear fallout (or both!)

The Verge

If all goes well, Merrily We Roll Along should hit theaters sometime around 2040, assuming the Earth still exists then.

Slate (again!)

the globe might be reduced to a broiling sphere of molten ash within the next 20 years

Paul Doty said...

Oh yeah, Linklater- the "kids say the darnedest things" guy. Who knew he was still around.

MayBee said...

Are we really going to raise children on the idea that the world is about to end? What are we doing?

stephen cooper said...

MayBee, most parents are average or below average.

chickelit said...
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chickelit said...

I liked Linklater's "Before" series of 3 films made spanning 18 years. The time lapse effect between first Before Sunrise (1995) and the second Before Sunset (2004) is astonishing. All three star Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpie.

Dazed And Confused is my favorite Linklater movie. We're the same age and he captured the Zeitgeist of our high school experience perfectly, I thought.

Robert Cook said...

"Dazed And Confused is my favorite Linklater movie. We're the same age and he captured the Zeitgeist of our high school experience perfectly, I thought."

It was set on the last day of high school in Texas in 1975. I graduated from high school in 1973 in Florida. The film was so accurate as to the look and sound and feel of the time and place it was as if he had actually filmed it in the 70s and waited decades to release it.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Just saw Dazed and Confused at Alamo Drafthouse last night. (Not for the first time, of course.) It's so homoerotic that I assumed Linklater is gay. All that bending young boys over and pounding their behinds; I mean, is anyone obviously gayer than O'Bannion?

Not that I condone the cartoonish drug use and drinking, but man, kids had it so much better then. They had freedom and they had actual meaningful relationships with each other. Now they have constant supervision and Snapchat. What a travesty.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Agree with MayBee — the gloom and doom aspect of climate change hysteria is under appreciated and a terrible way to live your life.

And we grew up in the 1950s-1970s when nuclear annihilation was an actual threat, but most people of that time were not paralyzed by that fear, we just ignored it because hey, what can you do about it anyway? Worry solves nothing and stresses you out.

Jeff Brokaw said...

I’ve always thought worrying to any real degree about distant threats that are mainly theoretical and 100% out of your control is pathological.

There isn’t a single good reason to obsess about anything you do not have direct control over. Now we’ve got an entire generation—or two—obsessing over destroying the planet with the Evils of CO2, aka “plant food” (which as individuals they have literally zero control over, even nations can only do so much).

They should all be advised to read “Candide” and accept the very useful wisdom of tending to their garden, and let others choose to freak out about everything.

loudogblog said...

It's an interesting idea and I hope it works out. Makeup and CGI are doing amazing things in the movies; but there is something to be said about the effect that actual age has on human beings, especially actors. He is, however, running the risk of the movie never being finished. Twenty years is a long time to try and keep a project going that needs funding and the same actors.