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Richard Linklater Says He Was ‘Screwed’ Out of ‘Dazed and Confused’ Money

Linklater said that "everybody has that story of getting screwed with their first project," but remains grateful the film was greenlit.

DAZED AND CONFUSED, Matthew McConaughey, Rory Cochrane, Deena Martin, Joey Lauren Adams, 1993, (c) Gramercy Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

“Dazed and Confused”

GramercyPictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Richard Linklater is back in the indie film limelight for his latest project, “Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood,” which sees him return to his roots making movies inspired by his childhood in Texas. Coincidentally, the animated film was released a year before the 30th anniversary of his most iconic Texas film, “Dazed and Confused.”

But in a new interview with The Daily Beast to promote “Apollo 10 1/2,” Linklater was not in a particularly nostalgic mood about “Dazed and Confused.” When asked about the film’s big anniversary, Linklater had a simple response: “where’s my money?”

The filmmaker went on to say that he has still not received any residuals from the film or its iconic soundtrack, and compared himself to countless other artists in the entertainment industry who never saw profits from their early hits.

“How come a movie that cost less than $7 million has $12 million in interest against it?” he said. “Hollywood accounting. I remember really asking for a piece of the soundtrack, because I picked all the songs, and they were like, oh no… First film, you know? N.W.A is still pissed off about that first contract. Everybody has that story of getting screwed with their first project. That film was an indie success. It made more than it cost theatrically, and over the years it’s been everywhere.”

That said, Linklater is still happy that he was able to make the film the way he wanted to (something he doubts would be possible today), and is grateful for the career it helped launch.

“That’s such a cliché to bitch about. But I did go through the Hollywood experience,” he said. “Here I complain but they did green-light the film, and they wouldn’t green-light the film today. Cast of unknowns? Period film when not much happens, riding around? One film out of Sundance? I don’t think there’s a pitch for that movie today, so I sit here very, very blessed that I came along at a time when studios were going, hey, we’ll make this and this and then throw some chump change over to these guys. I’m still grateful I got the film made, and got it made the way I wanted it to.”

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