Screeners have gone out and filmmaker Richard Linklater (“Dazed & Confused“) and Jack Black are already campaigning for their surprise indie hit “Bernie,” which hit theaters earlier this year and collected a cool $9.2 million with its widest release being 332 theaters. A big player on VOD as well, “Bernie” was a major hit for Millennium Entertainment this year. So while doing the low-key rounds in New York at an awards party for the dark comedy, the L.A. Times caught up with both the director and star.
And as it turns out, the duo, who already have two collaborations under their belts with “The School of Rock,” are hoping to mount a third. No, it’s not the mooted “School of Rock 2,” which never seemed to have properly gotten off the ground other than a nice inkling of a sequel, but something else entirely. “It’s about a guy who gives up everything to be a professional bowler,” Black told the Times.
Black admitted that the picture was inspired by a real-life bowler, and the L.A Times posits that athlete could be controversial PBA champion Pete Weber who sacrificed a lot to get to where he is today, but the comedian wouldn’t deny or confirm it. By 1989, Weber had won 13 PBA Tour titles, the bowler’s personal life was in deep disarray, including several divorces and bouts with alcoholism. He is also featured in the ten-pin bowling sports documentary “A League of Ordinary Gentlemen” (you can watch the entire thing for free here, plus a great Weber highlight from ESPN below).
Black wouldn’t reveal any more details, but said he preferred indies to studio pictures because of the quicker pace of the more intimate shoots. “There’s not much trailer time on a movie like ‘Bernie,’ ” he said. “We were shooting three pages a day.” Black also revealed that his band, Tenacious D, is putting out a jazz record.
The newpaper also spoke to the “Bernie” filmmaker, who, as recently discussed, just finished shooting “Before Midnight” this summer — the third chapter in his “Before Sunrise“/”Before Sunset” trilogy. “With ‘Before Sunset’ I felt like me, Ethan [Hawke] and Julie [Delpy] were the only ones who really wanted [to see a sequel],” the director told the Times. “But given how ‘Before Sunset’ ended, a lot of people would come up to me and ask about what happens next.”
Linklater says the characters are now both in their early 40s, but wouldn’t reveal any other meaty details. However, Linklater told the newspaper that he aims to take “Before Midnight” to a festival in early 2013, and considering the two previous films debuted at the Berlin Film Festival, that one’s probably a safe bet.