Everything’s coming up roses for Richard Linklater these days. After stumbling slightly during the mid–2000s, the Texan’s filmography is in great shape following the triptych of “Bernie,” last year’s swoon-worthy “Before Midnight” and this year’s fantastic and much-discussed “Boyhood.” With that “time sculpture” finally released, Linklater is looking for another project, and it may be one that’s been percolating for as long as “Boyhood.”
During the run-up to the release of “Bernie,” Linklater was eyeing a return to the studio system, circling a remake of the 1964 Don Knotts-starring live-action/animation hybrid “The Incredible Mr. Limpet.” The project developed in fits and starts, but “that project’s not happening. The financing kind of went away,” the director said last month. “That’s the thing with those announcements. You never know the reason why it gets announced, but it’s usually someone on the financing or sales side trying to influence something. I don’t know why. The financing we thought we had disappeared. We might get it made sometime, but I have hopes for another thing.”
Linklater is referring to yet another movie he’s been trying get made a for a long time. THR reports the director will exit the ‘Limpet’ remake and instead use the heat he’s garnered from “Boyhood” to finally make his long-discussed “spiritual sequel” to “Dazed & Confused.”
Previously, all we knew about the film was that it was titled “That’s What I’m Talking About,” that it definitely would not be a direct sequel to the iconic 1993 film, that it would be set at college during the 1980s and that it would feature a new batch of characters. Linklater has long described the movie as a “spiritual sequel” to his 1993 classic. But THR has revealed a more about the new project, reporting that like its predecessor, it would be inspired by Linklater’s life and “follow freshmen as they navigate through the first year of college life, while trying to make the baseball team.”
While the details aren’t extensive, they appear to flip the equation of ‘Dazed.’ Where that movie focused on the end of the high school year and Randall Floyd’s (Jason London) refusal to sign a pledge not to take drugs or do anything to otherwise harm the football team’s season, ‘Talking’ views sports in a much aspirational manner. It’ll also be Linklater’s second baseball-centric movie following his remake of “Bad News Bears.”
At any rate, despite the many false starts over the past few years for “That’s What I’m Talking About” –Linklater at one time was saying it would shoot last fall– it seems like the director may finally be able to make the film. We can’t wait.