Think Richard Linklater’s Oscar-winning film Boyhood, shot over 12 years, was an ambitious undertaking? That’s nothing compared to what the 59-year-old director now has in the works. Linklater is planning an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Merrily We Roll Along, which is to be shot over 20 years, per Collider. It’s a fitting plan, since the musical itself is told over 20 years. It begins in the present, then moves into the past, following a songwriter and two estranged friends through the good times and bad.
“I can’t think of a better place to spend the next 20 years than in the world of a Sondheim musical,” Linklater says, per Variety. “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.” Blake Jenner of Netflix’s What/If will star alongside “longtime best friends,” Tony winner Ben Platt and rising star Beanie Feldstein (who is also Jonah Hill’s sister and has been making waves via her roles in Lady Bird and Booksmart), per the Guardian. In another big role, Feldstein will play Monica Lewinsky in an upcoming season of American Crime Story. (More on that here.)