Is anyone else taken aback by Richard Linklater‘s “That’s What I’m Talking About“? For years, the director couldn’t get the “spiritual sequel” to his classic ’70s coming of age movie “Dazed & Confused” going. But Linklater has found a lot of industry heat in recent years with “Before Midnight” and “Boyhood,” the latter of which possibly a 2014 Oscar contender, so Megan Ellison‘s Annapurna Pictures is acting as patron and getting ‘Talking’ made.
Perhaps “spiritual sequel” is meant in the loosest sense. Because yes, while set in the ’80s during college, “That’s What I’m Talking About” follows a college freshman who rolls with some colorful baseball players. All the actors cast in the film are mostly unknowns or rising talents—Tyler Hoechlin, Wyatt Russell, Ryan Guzman, Will Brittain, and Glen Powell—with Zoey Deutch just landing the female lead role. So what’s the connection to Linklater’s coming-of-age tale? Well, the tone of it is said to be similar to ‘Dazed,’ and the new logo for the movie, which Ellison revealed today, suggests something equally groovy and free-spirited.
Linklater does know a little something about baseball though. He’s not only directed the “Bad News Bears,” he helmed the little-seen 2008 documentary about the winningest coach in the history of NCAA Division I baseball, “Inning By Inning: A Portrait Of A Coach” for ESPN films. College sports and slackers don’t really mix, as that level of play is usually centered on ambition and drive, but Linklater has successfully traversed that intersection before with ‘Bears,’ so perhaps he’ll make good on that odd mix of ideologies once again. “That’s What I’m Talking About” is two days into production and we’ll likely hear more about it soon. One could predict Sundance 2015, but that seems a little premature at the moment.
Meanwhile, The Dissolve has an exclusive clip from “21 Years: Richard Linklater” the new documentary about this maverick and fiercely independent filmmaker. Watch the trailer here and that new clip below.