Richard Linklater is on a tear after the amazing critical reception to his latest film, “Before Midnight” - still one of the best reviewed movies of the year, and commanding the arthouse box office. In a recent interview on The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith podcast, Linklater revealed he’s ready to move back into a big ensemble movie after small scale efforts of his last two features. Could it mean fans will be getting that long-awaited “spiritual sequel” to “Dazed and Confused”?
"I think after doing ['Before Midnight'] which was pretty intimate and my film before ['Bernie'] was pretty intimate too, I kinda want to take on an ensemble again. So I have a college comedy I've been working on for years that's sort of a spiritual sequel to 'Dazed [And Confused],' " he explained. "It's set on the first weekend of college with a bunch of people when you move into where you're going to be living and you meet all these people."
If you don’t recall, back in back in 2010 Linklatter had envisioned a film called “That’s What I’m Talking About,” a quasi-sequel to his 1993 film “Dazed and Confused.” The film was to be set in a 1980s college and could see Matthew McConaughey reprise his role as the ladies man, Wooderson. McConaughey was quoted as being interested in the project. In 2012 Linklater mentioned, “I…have it financed” and was looking for a distributor. It seems times may have changed, as he tells the Jeff Smith show that due to a lack of “big name casts” in the age range he’s looking for that financing has dried up; and, in spite of his successful filmic output his name attached to the film “doesn’t get you much.” Hopefully, if “Before Midnight” sees some Oscar love, it could be the push Linklater needs to secure financing.
Ignoring all the legalities for a second, what does Linklatter have to say about the film itself? He states that he has a couple of “working titles,” leading one to wonder if “That’s What I’m Talking About” has been dumped, or remains a working title. As for the premise: "Yeah, it's sequentially it's like if Mitch went off to college, so sequentially it's like '80," he said also adding: "It's all that partying you do before the first class, if you get 3 or 4 days, so it's a long weekend of college."
With the recent wave of Kickstarter projects out there, Linklater might want to look into securing this long-awaited project through there, as fans have certainly been clamoring for more from the “Dazed and Confused” gang. But either way, here's hoping this one can finally get moving.