Filmmaker Richard Linklater is set to better his own record of one of the longest film productions in the cinema history with upcoming movie Merrily We Roll Along.
An adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical of the same name, the film will be shot over the next 20 years.
Linklater’s 2014 feature Boyhood took the director 12 years to make. It started filming in 2002 and ended in October 2013. Filming took place once or twice a year with the cast and crew getting together for a three or four days schedule.
“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. 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,” Linklater said in a statement.
Merrily We Roll Along will feature Beanie Feldstein, Blake Jenner and Ben Platt in the lead, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Sondheim’s musical in itself is an adaptation of the 1934 play of the same name by George S Kaufman and Moss Hart.
The story follows Franklin Shepard, a talented Broadway musical composer who abandons his friends and career to become a producer of Hollywood movies. It chronicles the height of Frank’s Hollywood fame and moves backwards in time, showing important moments in his life.
Jenner, who previously worked with the director on his 2016 movie Everybody Wants Some!!, will take on the role of Shepard.
Feldstein, who broke out this year with Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart, will essay the role of Mary Flynn, a theatre critic and a friend of Shepard.
Jason Blum’s Blumhouse will produce the project, as will Jonathan Marc Sherman and Linklater.
The first segment of the film has already completed shooting.
Linklater most recently directed Where’d You Go Bernadette?, featuring Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig and Emma Nelson in the lead. The film released on August 16 in the US.
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