Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood was an ambitious filmmaking project that took 12 years to complete. In it, audiences saw the life of one person, played by the same actor, through various stages of his life. Now, he is going to up that with a film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along, based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.
According to new reports, the film adaptation will reportedly take 20 years to complete. An interesting take as it might be a reflection of the current state of the entertainment industry and how things could change for the better (or worse) when the film is completed and is released. More on who will appear in the film below.
Collider was the first to break the news. According to them, the film will star Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect) and Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart) in a story about a talented composer of Broadway musicals, who has now abandoned his friends and his songwriting career to become a producer of Hollywood movies. The musical and play start at the height of his Hollywood career and starts to move backwards, showing snapshots of all the important moments of his life that will shape him into what he is now.
Platt will play Franklin Shepard, the composer at the center of the story, while Feldstein plays his best friend, theater critic Mary Flynn.
Now, most films have their production shoots out of order. However, with the 20-year production span, it will give Linklater the opportunity to shoot in reverse chronological order. Because, the play starts at the height of their Hollywood careers, the film is being shot starting at the end as the characters’ careers are just blossoming.
If Merrily We Roll Along sounds like an incredibly ambitious project, that’s because it is. It’s very rare to see a project like this. There is an incredible amount of risk that is going into this film because no one even knows what the world will be like in 20 years, let alone what the state of the entertainment industry will be. Overdramatics aside, I have to say, I respect the commitment everyone involved has with the project. It should be very interesting to see how the film progresses. Who knows, maybe we will all still be around to see it, and if we are, we will be sure to keep you updated every step of the way.