12 years a sequel? Richard Linklater’s Boyhood was filmed over the course of twelve years, and that evolution of character and director is a big reason why it was such a powerful force this awards season. While it only came away with one Oscars win, Boyhood‘s place in cinematic history is assured. Could all of the success Linklater has found be enough reason to get moving on a sequel?
Maybe so, because Linklater now sounds open to the idea. He’s steadfastly denied any interest in continuing the Boyhood story with the same cast, but when asked recently about it on Jeff Goldsmith’s Q&A Podcast Linklater leaves the door open…
“To be honest… this film first met its audience exactly a year ago and for the first six months of the year, my answer to that was absolutely not. This was twelve years, it was first grade through 12th grade; it was about getting out of high school. I had no idea about another story, there’s nothing to say. It hadn’t crossed my mind. But I don’t know if it’s been a combination of finally feeling that this is over or being asked a similar question a bunch over the last year, that I thought, well, I wake up in the morning thinking, ‘the 20s are pretty formative, you know?’ That’s where you really become who you’re going to be. It’s one thing to grow up and go to college, but it’s another thing to… So, I will admit my mind has drifted towards [this sequel idea].”
Does he have another twelve years to invest, though? Linklater admits he’s given it some thought, and that chances are a sequel wouldn’t take quite as long…
“The twelve years [structure] came out of [school structure]. It wouldn’t have to be twelve years. It wouldn’t have to be… I mean, who knows. I mean, if I learned anything on the Before trilogy it took five years to realize that Jesse and Celine were still alive and had anything to say. This one would probably be more accelerated, but who knows….“I can tell it’s happening [in the same way] because I start coming up with ideas about [that time period]. The same way I thought about ‘Boyhood’: just these random little memories about being in my twenties that might seem insignificant on paper, but telling and important. And developmentally, like, ‘oh, that was kind of a moment’; a lot of moments from the fraught 20s.”
None of this is guaranteed, of course, and it all depends on whether Linklater has something worthwhile to add.
“I’ve dealt with this before… I have, in my movies, touched on people in their 20s. So to what degree I’ll be going over certain territories again—I dunno, It’s impossible to say what may or may not come of it… I would love to keep working with this cast and I think we all would. But that can’t be the primary reason to do it. You always need something to say. You can’t do it just cause you want to work with your friends, you gotta have something really inside you you’re trying to communicate about those years. I might happen, but I dunno, it’s in the ether in the moment.”
Hopefully he won’t title it “Adulthood”, because that would be super cheesy. Linklater’s next film is his “wild party movie”, That’s What I’m Talking About, which he’s calling a spiritual “sequel to Dazed & Confused and Boyhood“. Due out later this year, the film is set in 1980 and follows the lives of college freshmen.