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Because of its time setting, ensemble cast, and story approach, Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! i very clearly functions as a spiritual sequel to the great 1993 indie hit Dazed and Confused, but that isn’t the only past work of Linklater’s that had a big hand in the writer/director formulating new period comedy. His last movie,Boyhood, also had a very important role to play, as the two films were not only developed practically simultaneously, but the intimacy of the family story made him want to make something a bit broader with his follow-up.
I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Richard Linklater earlier this month down at the SXSW Film Festival (where Everybody Wants Some!! had its world premiere), and it was in discussing the inspirations for the film that the filmmaker explained the importance of Boyhood in the movie’s development. Given that it’s been 23 years since Dazed and Confused, I asked him if he would have made the spiritual sequel without the experience of making his Oscar-winning feature, and he began his answer by noting that thoughts about Everybody Wants Some!! and Boyhood came to him around the same time:
Strangely, Everybody Wants Some!! and Boyhood are on parallel tracks – I conceived of both of them in the early 2000s. I think Boyhood 2001, and this one in 2002 I was thinking about it. As I was working on Boyhood every year I was also working on this – I was writing it and then trying to get it made. I had a really long draft that became a shorter draft.
Obviously that’s a long time for a project to be developing, but Richard Linklater also credits the completion and success of Boyhood to getting Everybody Wants Some!! made. Not only did it surely put him in a better spot in terms of getting money and distribution, but the completion of the project also helped put him in the perfect mental space. Said Linklater,
Once Boyhood came out I really got the opportunity to get this made. After the intimacy of Boyhood and Before Midnight I felt like doing a big ensemble comedy. ‘That’s what I really want to do next! I want that challenge.’ But it just so happens that Boyhood ends where this one sort of begins. They kind of run one into the other. If Mason Jr. in Boyhood showed up at college like a different person [laughs] - a different part of me. But to me personally they do kind of connect – regardless of place in time. 1980, current time…
You can watch Richard Linklater talk about the link between Everybody Wants Some!! and Boyhood in the video below:
Everybody Wants Some!! is now out in limited release, and will be in theaters nationwide on April 8th.