Film director Richard Linklater is outdoing himself. The director filmed his Oscar-winning movie Boyhood over the course of 12 years, and now his next film will shoot over a span of 20 years.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie is Merrily We Roll Along, and it’s based on the 1934 play of the same name. The film adaptation stars Beanie Feldstein, Blake Jenner, and Ben Platt, all of whom will be filmed over the course of two decades to tell the story is what appears to be an unprecedented manner.
The story follows a composer, Franklin Shepard (Jenner), who leaves his job making Broadway musicals to pursue a career in Hollywood. The story begins at the end, and works backwards through time to display the key moments in his life. Feldstein is set to portray the theatre critic Mary Flynn, who is also a friend of Shepard’s.
According to THR, filming on the first part of the movie is already finished.
“I first saw and fell in love with Merrily in the ’80s, and I can’t think of a better place to spend the next 20 years than in the world of a Sondheim musical,” Linklater said in a statement. “I don’t enter this multiyear experience lightly, but it seems the best, perhaps the only way, to do this story justice on film.”
Boyhood, which was released in 2014, was filmed over the course of 12 years as it chronicled the early life of actor Ellar Coltrane’s character, Mason. The actor and character grew older through the course of filming as the story reached several key moments in his adolescent life. It was a tremendous use of extended filming, and it’ll be interesting to see how it works over an even longer period of time with Merrily We Roll Along.
Boyhood was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film ended up with one win, with Patricia Arquette winning for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.