Richard Linklater will shoot his next movie over 20 years

Ben Arnold
Richard Linklater (Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

After spending 12 years piecing together his last movie, Boyhood, director Richard Linklater is planning an even more ambitious project.

He will make his next film, an adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along, over the space of 20 years.

Read more: Are films getting too long?

Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein, Pitch Perfect's Ben Platt and American Animals actor Blake Jenner will star in the movie, which will be produced by the indie studio Blumhouse.

“I first saw, and fell in love with Merrily in the 80s and I can’t think of a better place to spend the next 20 years than in the world of a Sondheim musical,” said Linklater.

“I don’t enter this multi-year experience lightly, but it seems the best, perhaps the only way, to do this story justice on film.”

Boyhood (Credit: IFC Films)

Boyhood, released in 2014, followed actor Ellar Coltrane from the age of six to 18, as he grows up in Texas to divorced parents Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke.

It won Golden Globes for Best Director and Best Film, and was nominated for six Oscars, Arquette winning for Best Supporting Actress.

Unlike Boyhood, the story of Merrily We Roll Along works backwards, introducing Hollywood movie producer Franklin Shepard, and tracing back his career as a burgeoning composer on Broadway.