Following the career of Richard Linklater can give you the best kind of creative whiplash. He went from the aging romance of Before Midnight to the coming-of-age epic Boyhood, to the college bro comedy Everybody Wants Some!! Linklater’s next movie sounds like yet another departure, another major shift in subject and tone, back to more serious material. It’s called Last Flag Flying, and it was announced today it will premiere as the Opening Night Film of the 2017 New York Film Festival.
Richard Linklater is about to get behind the camera again this year to film Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, an adaptation of a 2012 bestselling novel about a restless Seattle housewife who becomes a recluse and disappears right before a big family vacation, prompting her husband and daughter to go looking for her. Cate Blanchett will play Bernadette, and today it was announced that Kristen Wiig is in talks to play Audrey, Bernadette’s nightmare neighbor.
For a dude who has explicitly espoused the virtues of chilling across several of his films, Richard Linklater’s been a pretty tireless director as of late. He completed his Before trilogy with Before Midnight in 2013, finally showed the world Boyhood in 2014, caught his breath and presumably enjoyed a few cold ones in 2015, returned last year with Everybody Wants Some!!, and is slated for another release this year, the Bryan Cranston-led war picture Last Flag Flying. And Linklater still shows no signs of slowing down, as a new announcement from Annapurna Pictures revealed this morning that the filmmaker’s next next picture has already been squared away and has a star to match.
Even for a guy whose films are unified by their pervasive sense of chillness, Richard Linklater’s never been lacking in ambition. He’s pulled off formless philosophical rambles (Slacker, Waking Life) and a bildungsroman twelve years in the making (Boyhood), but his grandest project has to be the Before trilogy of romance films. Across three decades and three pictures (1995’s Before Sunrise, 2004’s Before Sunset, and 2013’s Before Midnight) Linklater has tracked what could justly be named one of cinema’s great love affairs as it’s progressed from infatuation at first sight to a long-awaited reunion to adult life and the domesticity that goes with it.
Richard Linklater’s follow-up to Everybody Wants Some is another sequel of sorts, but in an intriguing twist, it’s not connected to one of his own films. Instead, the Boyhood director has been developing a sequel to The Last Detail, the classic 1973 film starring Jack Nicholson and Randy Quaid. And now we have a few more reasons to get excited for Linklater’s latest: Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne.