Richard Linklater to adapt Stephen Sondheim musical ‘Merrily We Roll Along’

Image via Universal

Image via Universal

At the center of the story is a Broadway composer named Franklin Shepard, who abandons his career in NY, as well as all of his friends, in order to go produce movies in Hollywood.

Linklater, who directed Boyhood over a period of 12 years, is directing and plans to film the musical over a span of 20 years.

The horror-loving Blumhouse Twitter account took a pithier approach to the film's premise, joking that the most ambitious thing about the project "is that we boldly assume there will be a planet in 20 years".

Collider is reporting that Stephen Sondheim's musical, Merrily We Roll Along, is being adapted into a movie by Oscar-nominated director Richard Linklater (Boyhood, Where'd You Go, Bernadette) with Jason Blum's Blumhouse producing. But this time, it's set to take place over the course of 20 years. So if the movie maintains the musical's structure, the end of the film is already in the can.

Based on George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart's 1934 play of the same name, the beloved musical unfolds backwards, culminating with the characters in their 20s and just embarking on their careers.

This morning, the filmmaker confirmed that he's now shooting what could turn out to be his most ambitious project to date: an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along.

Ben Platt has also joined the cast, but no details about his character have been revealed at this time.

Blake Jenner will play Franklin, with Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart) playing Shepard's friend, a theater critic named Mary Flynn. "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", says Linklater, as per the publication.

Merrily We Roll Along has become something of a cult classic among Sondheim's legendary Broadway work.

Linklater now has the Annapurna pic Where'd You Go, Bernadette? in theaters.

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