‘That’s What I’m Talking About’ Director Richard Linklater Gives Details on His “Spiritual Sequel” to ‘Dazed and Confused’
Richard Linklater is one of our most prolific directors, and his 2014 film ‘Boyhood’ may very well be on its way to taking home an Oscar. Linklater announced plans last year to direct ‘That’s What I’m Talking About,’ a film he’s called a “spiritual” sequel to his classic ‘Dazed and Confused’—but according to a new interview with the director, it’s not a sequel in the sense that you’re probably thinking, and although he’s referred to it as something of a follow-up to ‘Boyhood,’ it’s not a sequel to that film, either. But he did offer plenty of details about ‘That’s What I’m Talking About,’ which may or may not undergo a name change before it hits theaters.
In an interview with Creative Screenwriting (via The Playlist), Linklater went into detail about what he calls a “party film,” which follows a college freshman who falls in with the school’s wild baseball team. He also explains why he’s referred to ‘That’s What I’m Talking About’ as a “spiritual sequel” to ‘Dazed and Confused,’ a film that followed high school students in the ‘70s:
I think the word ‘spiritual’ gets me off the hook. It has nothing to do with ‘Dazed and Confused’ other than it would be set four years later, when one of the younger characters went off to college. It’s a party film.
In a more extensive interview on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, Linklater elaborated a bit more about the project, and revealed that the tile may just be a working title that may change prior to release. He reiterated that the project picks up where ‘Boyhood’ left off, in a sense—at the end of that film, we witnessed Ellar Coltrane’s Mason entering college. But Linklater says Coltrane will not appear in ‘That’s What I’m Talking About,’ and here’s why:
That kid is kind of an artist kid. And my guys [the kids of this movie] are kind of jocks. They’re all on the baseball team. But they’re like witty. You know people tend to think athletes are kind of dumb, and some are, but there’s was a certain kind of energy and wit, particularly among the older guys [that I knew], so [the movie’s] trying to capture: they’re competitive jerks on one hand, but they’re really funny and witty on the other.
The director discussed the “wonderful ensemble” cast, which includes ‘22 Jump Street’ star Wyatt Russell (son of Kurt Russell), Ryan Guzman, Zoey Deutch, Will Brittain, and Tyler Hoechlin. He went on to describe how music played a key part in the development of the film:
You show up at college and you’re listening to Van Halen, but you go to discos to chase women. But then you end up at a punk club or a country bar because ‘Urban Cowboy’ was big at that time. All that stuff was on the table, so it’s an interesting cultural moment because they go to an art party and they’re listening to the Talking Heads, so it’s a cultural moment where, I’m like, ‘who am I?’ Am I punk? Am I new wave? Am I heavy metal?
That definitely sounds like it has some themes in common with ‘Dazed and Confused,’ a film that also explored cliques, self-discovery, and defining yourself among your peers. The film doesn’t yet have a release date, though it will reportedly hit theaters sometime this year. We’ll find out this Thursday morning if Linklater has earned some Oscar nominations for ‘Boyhood,’ his 12-year project which many consider to be a masterpiece.