Richard Linklater is certainly no stranger to mainstream fare. “School Of Rock,” “Bad News Bears” and “The Newton Boys” were journeys into major studio filmmaking (and let’s not forget, “Dazed & Confused” was also a major studio project for Universal made at a time when the majors were toying with indie talent) but none of those are as big as what the helmer is circling right now.
24 Frames reports that Linklater has met with Warner Bros. to direct the long-gestating remake of the 1964 family comedy “The Incredible Mr. Limpet.” Said to be a “top-candidate” for the job, Linklater is certainly a… different choice than the names that have circled before. “Enchanted” director Kevin Lima was attached way back in the summer of 2009, while more recently, Tom Shadyac was said to be shortlisted (though his tree-hugging take on the material, even he admitted, wasn’t likely to get him the gig). Zach Galifianakis was attached at one point last year, but it remains to be seen if he’s still involved.
The move may seem surprising for some, considering Linklater’s roots in indie filmmaking, but it’s not entirely surprising. As we mentioned above, he’s dipped his toes in the studio system before and he is no stranger the struggle to find financing: “Liars (A-E)” and a “Dazed & Confused” sequel most notably have been sidelined/shelved due to a lack of funds. Hell, he might just be curious to see what directing an effects-driven movie with studio money feels like.
While we’d rather Linklater do better things with his time, we can’t say we blame him either and maybe his move opens up more doors for him to get more challenging/interesting material off the ground. The new version of ‘Limpet’ will be a live-action/animated hybrid — with which Linklater has more than ample experience — and the story updated to a contemporary setting. Frankly, if Galifianakis is still involved, our interest in this will definitely go way up.