Richard Linklater is one of the most ambitious film directors in recent memory, creating a variety of films from different genres with different techniques. His most notable recent work is the Academy Award nominated Boyhood, which filmed the story of a boy growing up over the course of 12 years. Linklater is taking on that task again with his adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Merrily We Roll Along, this time with a production lasting for around 20 years.
The original musical was based on a novel of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The story centers around a talented Broadway composer named Franklin Shepard and his journey to become a famous Hollywood producer. Linklater mentioned that he was a huge fan of the musical and believes that filming it over 20 year would be the best way to do the play justice. He stated “I can’t think of a better place to spend the next 20 years than in the world of a Sondheim musical.”
A cast has already been set for the film, with Blake Jenner of Glee fame to play Shepard, Booksmart‘s Beanie Feldstein to play Mary Flynn and Pitch Perfect‘s Ben Platt cast as Charlie Kringas. Blumhouse Productions will be producing the project with Jason Blum, Ginger Sledge and Jonathon Marc Sherman set as producers.
Merrily We Roll Along is still early on in production as the first sequence has been shot and audiences will likely not see the completed film until around 2040. Nevertheless, it’s a daunting yet ambitious task for any filmmaker to intentionally shoot a film over the course of many years and Richard Linklater is certainly capable of doing that with his work on Boyhood. Even though it’ll be a long time before this film sees the light of day, once it’s finally released many will witness all the hard work done to make Merrily We Roll Along as authentic as possible.