Though the Oscar contender only came away with one award at last night’s ceremony, we may not have seen the end of Boyhood just yet. Richard Linklater isn’t like most filmmakers. That should be evident from the fact that he attempted—and succeeded—to make a film over the course of 12 years, but he’s also known for creating quite possibly the most unlikely trilogy in history: the Before series. His 1995 film Before Sunrise was about young love, but he opted to revisit the characters again in the excellent follow-up Before Sunset, and one more time in 2013’s also excellent Before Midnight. In short, the word “sequel” isn’t one that Linklater isn’t wholly averse to, but he approaches the idea of a follow-up in a unique manner.
Which brings us to Boyhood. Given Linklater’s history with the Before series, the director was asked many times after Boyhood‘s Sundance premiere if he would keep shooting and make another film with the same cast. His response was a clear “no”, but in a recent interview on Jeff Goldsmith’s Q&A Podcast (via The Playlist), Linklater admitted that he’s opened up to the idea of a Boyhood sequel:
“To be honest… this film first met its audience exactly a year ago and for the first six months of the year, my answer to that was absolutely not. This was twelve years, it was first grade through 12th grade; it was about getting out of high school. I had no idea about another story, there’s nothing to say. It hadn’t crossed my mind. But I don’t know if it’s been a combination of finally feeling that this is over or being asked a similar question a bunch over the last year, that I thought, well, I wake up in the morning thinking, ‘the 20s are pretty formative, you know?’ That’s where you really become who you’re going to be. It’s one thing to grow up and go to college, but it’s another thing to… So, I will admit my mind has drifted towards [this sequel idea].”
This is fascinating news to say the least, and while I’m generally a bit hesitant about the idea of sequels, Linklater’s such a talented individual and has such a singular voice that I’d be game to see what would come of a Boyhood follow-up. The director even revealed that he’s already thought a bit about the structure:
“The twelve years [structure] came out of [school structure]. It wouldn’t have to be twelve years. It wouldn’t have to be… I mean, who knows. I mean, if I learned anything on the Before trilogy it took five years to realize that Jesse and Celine were still alive and had anything to say. This one would probably be more accelerated, but who knows.”
“I’ve dealt with this before… I have, in my movies, touched on people in their 20s. So to what degree I’ll be going over certain territories again—I dunno, It’s impossible to say what may or may not come of it… I would love to keep working with this cast and I think we all would. But that can’t be the primary reason to do it. You always need something to say. You can’t do it just cause you want to work with your friends, you gotta have something really inside you you’re trying to communicate about those years. I might happen, but I dunno, it’s in the ether in the moment.”
Linklater already has his next film in the can, the “wild party comedy” That’s What I’m Talking About, which he describes as “a sequel to both Dazed & Confused and Boyhood.” The film will open sometime this year and revolves around a college freshman entering independent life for the first time, so it’s possible that Linklater scratches his 20s itch with this film. Or maybe he’ll decide there’s an interesting angle on Boyhood 2. Whatever the case, I’ll be there.
What do you think, folks? Would you be interested in catching up with Mason and his family again, or do you think Boyhood works better as a one off? Are you inclined to bet against Linklater? Sound off in the comments below.