The 12 years Richard Linklater invested in shooting – on and off – his coming-of-age tale, Boyhood, were well spent. The film is regularly cited as one of the best dramas of all time, performed healthily at the box office, won multiple awards for its cast and crew, and won Linklater major plaudits for such an innovative approach to on-screen ageing.
The director is now set to repeat the trick, with the announcement that he’s to devote some of the next 20 years to a production of Merrily We Roll Along, Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Broadway musical about a songwriter in danger of losing his friends while dazzled by showbiz.
Beanie Feldstein and Ben Platt – longtime best friends with a pronounced love of Broadway musicals – are set to star, alongside Blake Jenner. The show starts at the height of its hero’s success, then rewinds to when he was a struggling youngster.
“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,” said Linklater. “I don’t enter this multi-year experience lightly, but it seems the best, perhaps the only way, to do this story justice on film.”