Exclusive: Richard Linklater on his 13 Year Film Project Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette

     November 19, 2009

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While director Richard Linklater is having problems getting his “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused off the ground, that doesn’t mean he isn’t working.  In fact, last week he was filming some of his secret 13 year project with Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as a divorced couple.  Haven’t heard of the film yet? According to Linklater, good.

The reason I say that is when I spoke to Linklater during a roundtable interview a few days ago, he said he wished IMDb hadn’t listed the project.  Because now that it’s on the site, everyone is asking about a project that’s still being written and worked on.

But when I sat down to speak to him during my exclusive interview, when we finally got to talking about the project, he opened up a lot more than I expected him to.  Saying that, since I knew he wanted to keep a lot of the project under wraps, I didn’t press him for info.  But he still told me a lot about it and if you’re curious, hit the jump for what he said:

Here’s the big info:

  • Has filmed on eight different occasions
  • Ethan Hawke plays a divorced dad and Patricia Arquette plays the mom
  • Says, “wanted to make a film about childhood but couldn’t pick one specific moment.”
  • I ask if he scripted it many years ago or have things been changing.  He says, “every year I get a year to kind of gestate that year.  I always think, 7th grade, what’s going on given the history.  It’s set in a contemporary setting and I play off what we did last year and how the actors are maturing and what’s going on.  So it’s a combination of the architecture I’ve already mapped out for the whole film and then the specifics are often worked out at the last minute. A lot of improv.”

While some directors might not be able handle a constantly changing movie, if there is one thing Linklater has shown me, it’s an ability to handle improv and real people dealing with real life situations.  And even though we all will have to wait a number of years to finally see this movie, if it comes together, it’s definitely going to be something special.

Here’s our conversation:

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