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Boyhood, by design, doesn’t lend itself easily to a sequel. Richard Linklater famously spent 12 years creating his Oscar-winning masterpiece, filming the same actors once a year for longer than a decade. What, would we have to wait another 12 years to see a follow up? All Linklater is saying is that there’s a possibility.
On a recent episode of Jeff Goldsmith’s Q-and-A podcast, Richard Linklater admitted that he has been warming up to the idea of following his Boyhood characters further than he had initially planned. The director says that he has fielded that question numerous times as Boyhood reached new audiences, and he always shot it down. He says that he had "no idea about another story," and he didn’t give a sequel much thought. Now, however, that thought process has changed:
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].
If you have followed Richard Linklater’s career, this should come as no surprise. After all, the director tends to reunite his actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy every few years to explore the evolving relationship of Jesse and Celine in the Before trilogy. And this series has taught Linklater new ways to approach unique timelines that would be necessary for a Boyhood follow up. The director notes:
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.
Boyhood might not have won the Oscar for Best Picture, but it is a beloved film that has a 98% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and banked $25 million domestically. It’s a stunning achievement for Linklater, and I’m certain audiences would love to follow the family that we met and fell in love with in the film. Will the director find more things to say about them? And will it take quite as long for him to complete the vision? Let’s see how this develops.