Director Richard Linklater to spend 20 years making new movie

Linklater (above) famously shot his Oscar-winning Boyhood over 12 years, allowing its star to naturally age on screen.
Linklater (above) famously shot his Oscar-winning Boyhood over 12 years, allowing its star to naturally age on screen.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Pioneering director Richard Linklater, known for his wildly ambitious projects, has announced that his latest movie will be filmed over a 20-year span.

Linklater famously shot his Oscar-winning Boyhood over 12 years, allowing its star Ellar Coltrane to naturally age on screen from a five-year-old up to his first day of college.

He will go one step further with his adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical Merrily We Roll Along, which tells the story of a Broadway composer who moves to Hollywood to produce movies.

"I first saw, and fell in love with Merrily in the 1980s and I can't think of a better place to spend the next 20 years than in the world of a Sondheim musical," Linklater said in a statement.

"I don't enter this multi-year experience lightly, but it seems the best, perhaps the only way, to do this story justice on film."

The musical begins in Hollywood and moves back in time - meaning that if Linklater mirrors this, he will need to film the movie's final scenes first.

A statement from studio Blumhouse said principal photography has been completed for the "first segment of the film".

"The most ambitious thing about this tremendous project we are undertaking with Richard Linklater is that we boldly assume there will be a planet in 20 years," the studio added in a tweet.

The movie stars Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart), Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect) and Blake Jenner (Everybody Wants Some!!) Linklater came to fame with films including 1991's era-portraying Slacker and his trilogy starting with 1995's Before Sunrise, which follows a couple's romance over a period of 20 years.

The 59-year-old Texan's cult classic Dazed And Confused, about the adventures of 1970s students on the last day of school, brought a young Matthew McConaughey to the screen in 1993 with his catchphrase "Alright, alright, alright."