When Richard Linklater released his much-discussed magnum opus, “Boyhood,” in theaters this summer, the 12 year coming-of-age odyssey took the film world by storm, grossing a tremendous $23 million and counting opposite a $4 million budget, according to Box Office Mojo. A highly ambitious filmmaking concept streamlined into an emotional meditation on family, love and time, “Boyhood” earned deafening levels of critical acclaim and instantly shot itself into the stratosphere of Oscar buzz. As evidenced in our 2015 Oscar Predictions list, the drama is currently a “Best Bet” in numerous categories, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing. But while “Boyhood” aims to dominate the upcoming awards season, Linklater is already setting his sights on his follow-up, a spiritual sequel to “Dazed and Confused” titled “That’s What I’m Talking About.” As the project continues to come together, including a new distribution announcement released earlier today, here’s everything we know so far about Linklater’s “Boyhood” follow-up.
The Plot: “That’s What I’m Talking About” follows a freshman baseball pitcher during his first weekend on the college’s nationally ranked team. While the film isn’t expected to share any characters with Linklater’s 1993 classic “Dazed and Confused,” “Talking About” will blend humor with melancholy for a similar attentive mediation on a particular stage of life. As the setting jumps from the adolescent slackers of 1970s high school to the rambunctious ballplayers of 1980s college, Linklater will cut to the core of the newfound freedoms of unsupervised young adulthood. Since the film will focus solely on the off-field activities of the college athletes, don’t expect another “Bad News Bears.”
The Cast: “Glee” alumni Blake Jenner has already been cast in the lead role, with Wyatt Russell (“22 Jump Street”), Ryan Guzman (“Step Up All In”), Tyler Hoechlin (“Teen Wolf”), Will Brittain (“A Teacher”), Zoey Deutch (“Vampire Academy”) and Glen Powell (“The Expendables 3”) rounding out the supporting cast at this time.
The Crew: Linklater will be pulling his usual triple-duty as writer, director, and producer, and fans should rest easy knowing producing partners include Sandra Adair (the director’s longtime editor and an Oscar frontrunner this year for “Boyhood), Sean Daniel (producer on “Dazed and Confused”), John Sloss (producer on “Boyhood”) and Ginger Sledge (producer on “Bernie”). Annapurna founder Megan Ellison will also produce. It’s looking like a Linklater family affair as of now, although the jury is still out as to whether his cinematographer Lee Daniel will join the project.
Distribution Rights: In the latest news involving “That’s What I’m Talking About,” it was announced earlier today that Paramount will have North American distribution rights to the film, while Ellison’s Annapurna International will sell all foreign rights. The move is another big win for Paramount, who recently acquired Chris Rock’s Toronto smash hit “Top Five.” A team-up with Ellison means Linklater joins her impressive roster of collaborations, including David O. Russell, Kathryn Bigelow, Spike Jonze and Paul Thomas Anderson.
While a release date has not been set yet, expect anticipation to grow as more news on Linklater’s “Boyhood” follow-up continues to emerge over the next couple of months.