Richard Linklater Talks Me and Orson Welles and "Spiritual" Sequel to Dazed and Confused
11.25.09 by Ryan
To call Richard Linklater an eclectic director would be an understatement. Starting with the low-budget indie Slacker, Linklater moved on to the stoner comedy Dazed and Confused before hitting it big with School of Rock and Bad News Bears.
Up next for the director is another independently financed project, Me and Orson Welles, based on the novel by Robert Kaplow about a teenager who lands a role in Orson Welles' production of Julius Ceasar. The movie stars teen heartthrob Zac Efron as the young actor and newcomer Christian McKay as Welles. The movie may seem a strange fit for someone like Linklater to direct, but in an interview with ComingSoon, Linklater says he doesn't find his resume odd at all.
I think if there's a commonality [between movies] maybe it's sort of the tone or the acting or something, but I dunno. I'm lucky I get to work on different genres, that I'm not too pigeonholed. Maybe no one cares, but I think that I've earned a certain latitude.
Despite Linklater's success working with movie studios, and the presence of Efron, Me and Orson Welles was produced and will be distributed independently, a move Linklater says is sign of the current climate in Hollywood these days.
The industry, they really don't do films like this anymore. They really weren't interested. Even once Zac was aboard they were just, "No, we're not interested." I make films now and not so long ago this would've been a studioish kinda film, but they put all their chips on these big, big, big movies that seems to be working for them.
Linklater says he usually only works on a project when he feels he's the only who can.
I've turned down numerous things that ended up being huge films, but every time I do a film I gotta think I'm the only guy who would not only be the best guy for it, but would even want to make a film like this. Because of my baseball background, I was the best guy for Bad News Bears. Because of my rock and roll, you know, whatever it was, having a daughter that age, that I was the right guy for School of Rock I feel like I'm the right guy. I mean, I have to be cast carefully. I have to feel I'm well-cast in that situation, but I turn down most things just because I've got other things I'm usually working on, but I'm always up for the kismet of a nice little marriage of personality and project.
With his upcoming Liars killed by Disney's dissolution of Miramax, Linklater has nothing specific lined up next, though one of Linklater's "kismet" projects could be his "spiritual" sequel to Dazed and Confused.
I have a script I wrote, and it's kind of a college comedy and I called it my sequel to Dazed and Confused. It's none of the same characters. It's just my own spiritual sequel like, "Oh, these are my college years, the way Dazed was my high school, this is my college." So that's all, but it's not about revisiting those exact same characters. But I do have this kinda fun college comedy about the first weekend of college.
Me and Orson Welles opens on November 25 in limited release, and opens in more cities in December.