So you thought the Before franchise was fascinating, with Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy getting together every nine years to make a sequel to what started with Before Sunrise in 1995, continued with Before Sunset in 2004 and now back again with Before Midnight in theaters right now. Well, it looks like Hawke and Linklater have something even more interesting up their sleeves and it's taken eleven years to make with one more to go.
Many have directed me to Ethan Hawke's recent Reddit AMA, telling me how fascinating Hawke was and how open with his answers he turned out to be. It is a great read, but one part stuck out for me more than the rest when one questioner asked about a film called Boyhood, which began filming in 2002 and is listed on IMDb as the Untitled 12-Year Project.
Here's Hawke's answer:
First up, I guess I should tell people what BOYHOOD is. It's a project also known as THE TWELVE YEAR PROJECT; Richard Linklater and I have made a short film every year for the last 11 years, one more to go, that follows the development of a young boy from age 6 to 18. I play the father, and it's Tolstoy-esque in scope. I thought the BEFORE series was the most unique thing I would ever be a part of, but Rick has engaged me in something even more strange. Doing a scene with a young boy at the age of 7 when he talks about why do raccoons die, and at the age of 12 when he talks about video games, and 17 when he asks me about girls, and have it be the same actor - to watch his voice and body morph - it's a little bit like timelapse photography of a human being. I can't wait for people to see it.
Next year, he will graduate high school and we will finish the film. It will probably come out in 2 years.
Linklater recently spoke with Collider about the project, which they refer to as Growing Up and Linklater suggests it may come out next year. As for the length, he says, "It's one feature film. It'll be a little longer, like over two hours, but it's not five hours or eight hours. It's feature length."
Along with Hawke playing the father, Patricia Arquette plays his ex-wife with Ellar Coltrane (credited as Ellar Salmon) playing their son whose life we will follow from first grade to his high school graduation.
Hawke also spoke about the film back in 2010 with AICN saying at the time, "I've seen the first cut of the first seven years, and it's definitely one of the most interesting things I have ever been a part of... About 20 minutes, your eyes just start tearing up and you don't even know why. It's about the nature of time and how it's crashing into us all."
Linklater has said he'd adapt the narrative each year based on what is going on in Coltrane's life and Hawke told AICN of one such example:
"There's even this one little scene that he shot -- I don't want to ruin the movie for people -- but where the kid is just in line to get his book signed, the last 'Harry Potter' book that came out. It's almost like a documentary. Richard filmed it. He just got the actor in it and he's just waiting his turn in line with all of these kids dressed up like Harry Potter. By the time the movie comes out, that is going to be so funny and so interesting and so impossible to recreate."
I'd actually never heard of the project, but now I'm 100% invested and will be tracking it like a hawk. Searching around I found the following Q&A with Hawke and Linklater from last year discussing the project where Linklater says he's been trying to get IMDb to take it off their site.
SPECIAL: Check out our map of all the locations in Before Midnight right here.