As fans of Richard Linklater no doubt know, it took for than a handful of hot minutes for the filmmaker to get Everybody Wants Some!!, his sublime “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused off the ground. This is a constant in Linklater’s career, as well as several other major filmmakers’ careers, but with the tremendous success of Boyhood, Linklater has had a chance to get a few of these projects funded.
Amongst them is a sequel to The Last Detail, which takes place 40 years after the Hal Ashby classic, which chartered the short journey of two naval officers (Jack Nicholson and Otis Young) tasked with delivering a young officer (Randy Quaid) to naval prison in Portsmouth. For those who haven’t seen the deeply American comedy yet, it’s fantastic, and Ashby is clearly a forebearer of Linklater’s quietly radical style.
The film, entitled Last Flag Flying, is now in the works, and today, THR announced that Linklater has rounded up an excellent trio of actors to (presumably) play the same characters. Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, and the great Laurence Fishburne are now set to star in Last Flag Flying, with sources reporting that Amazon Studios will be backing the project, which will be adapted from Darryl Ponsican‘s 2005 novel of the same name.
Amazon has been backing quite a few major projects as of late, so this wouldn’t come as quite a surprise if it turns out they are behind Linklater’s next project. This year they backed Woody Allen‘s wise Cafe Society and The Neon Demon, Nicolas Winding Refn‘s faulty yet fascinating riff on Giallo. Nabbing the right to work with Linklater should be chalked up to a major win for them, but the real reward will likely be the movie itself. Linklater has yet to make a straight-up bad movie, and I would argue every film he’s made has been at once personal, culturally alert, and robustly entertaining. There’s little reason for me to believe that Last Flags Flying will be any different.