At this morning’s press junket for Daybreakers, I was able to ask Ethan Hawke his thoughts on doing a third film in the Before Sunrise/Before Sunset universe. If you’re a fan (like me) of these two amazing movies and are hoping they’d do a third film, it sounds like they aren’t against it, but don’t expect to see it anytime soon. That’s because even though people constantly give Hawke ideas for the film, he says, “My thought is we will make one as soon as everybody has forgotten about it.”
He also revealed, “We had a version of that movie that happened two years later. But once it took us five years and we can’t get the money to make that movie we have to rethink it. So elements or lines from that script stayed. When we first finished Before Sunset there was an idea that we would do. Julie and I wanted to do a short film the next year that we thought would be really fun to do like a five minute short and then put it in the vault so to speak and then fifteen years later make another film.”
Much more after the jump:
Here’s the full conversation with Hawke. This was done during a roundtable interview but I asked all the questions except the one about what a third film might be called. Finally, if you missed my exclusive interview with Richard Linklater and what he told me about a possibly third film, click here. It’s a great conversation. And look for the full interview with Ethan Hawke about Daybreakers tomorrow.
Collider: Speaking of Before Sunset: As a huge fan of Sunset and Sunrise, Linklater said to me that he’s kicked around ideas with Julie for a 3rd film. Do you feel that the second film ended in such a way that it’s a magical place to stop or do you feel that’s a franchise you’d like to revisit down the road?
Ethan Hawke: The idea that Before Sunrise would ever be qualified as a franchise is so amusing to me.
I don’t mean it in a negative…
Hawke: I love it! A sequel made from a movie that grossed the least amount of money in the history…three people saw the first one.
[I hold up my fingers to show 4 people saw it]
Hawke: Four people? Oh, you brought somebody (laughter). The only thing that makes following it up difficult is I think when we finished that film there was not a doubt in the three of our minds that we would do it again. There is some kind of parallel universe that all three of us are working on…co-writing is so incredibly difficult and it happens so easily with the three of us – we have such a fun time. The success of the second film has made it a little difficult to see our way around how to do it. Because the first time we revisited it there was no expectation. I remember when it first came out that Before Sunset was going to be released, I remember reading some article “They must believe in themselves because why would they?” I mean there was no expectation on it. And now every time I go out to dinner with friends, “I’ve got an idea. What if it opens and she’s having a baby and…” So it would be very difficult for us to exactly know how to.
Do you think the secret is you waited to make the second film and the secret is you need to wait ten years to make the third film?
Hawke: My bet is we need to follow exactly the formula which is to let it happen organically. That at some point we will really have something to say. Because the second one for example…there are other scripts. What happens is as time goes by, we had a version of that movie that happened two years later. But once it took us five years and we can’t get the money to make that movie we have to rethink it. So elements or lines from that script stayed. When we first finished Before Sunset there was an idea that we would do…Julie and I wanted to do a short film the next year that we thought would be really fun to do like a five minute short and then put it in the vault so to speak and then fifteen years later make another film that had…but time is such a big part of that movie. How time affects people and how we change. But my thought is we will make one as soon as everybody has forgotten about it. Rick is going to…it’ll probably take Rick to see a window that will want him to revisit these people and then he’ll lasso Julie and I into talking about what’s happened to us.
What would you call it?
Hawke: Before we go crazy…I don’t know.
How is that 13 year project with Linklater going?
Are you guys writing it as you go?
Hawke: Yeah. It’s all improvised around what’s happening to this kid.