Richard Linklater Musical to Be Filmed Over 20-Year Span

Beanie Feldstein_Ben Platt_Blake Jenner _Richard Linklater_Split - Getty - H 2019
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Blake Jenner, Beanie Feldstein and Ben Platt will star in an adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical 'Merrily We Roll Along.'

Beanie Feldstein, Blake Jenner and Ben Platt will star in an adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along.

Richard Linklater will be directing the project, which is being backed by Blumhouse, and will shoot over a 20-year span. The director shot his Oscar-winning Boyhood over 12 years.

The much-beloved musical, based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, follows Franklin Shepard, a talented composer of Broadway musicals that abandons his friends and career to become a producer of Hollywood movies. The story begins at the height of his Hollywood fame and moves backwards in time, showing important moments in Frank's life.

Jenner will portray Shepard, while Feldstein will play Shepard's friend, theater critic Mary Flynn.

Ginger Sledge will produce with Jason Blum for Blumhouse, along with Jonathan Marc Sherman and Linklater.

Principal photography has been completed for the first segment of the film.

“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. I don’t enter this multiyear experience lightly, but it seems the best, perhaps the only way, to do this story justice on film,” Linklater said Thursday in a statement.

Linklater is currently in theaters with Annapurna's Where'd You Go Bernadette?, which hit theaters Aug. 16.

Feldstein, whose credits include Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird and the FX series What We Do In the Shadows, was last in theaters with Olivia Wilde's directorial debut Booksmart and will next be seen in the TIFF title How to Build a Girl. She is also set to play Monica Lewinsky in a new season of Ryan Murphy's anthology series American Crime Story.

Platt is best known for his role in the Tony award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen, but will soon be seen in Ryan Murphy's splashy Netflix show The Politician, starring opposite Gwyneth Paltrow.

Jenner, who worked with Linklater on his feature Everybody Wants Some!!, was last seen on the Netflix series What/If

Linklater is repped by CAA and Cinetic Media; Feldstein is with WME, Brillstein and attorney Gang Tyre; Platt is repped by CAA, One Entertainment and attorney Jackoway Tyerman; and Jenner is with CAA, Atlas Artists, Viewpoint and Sloane Offer.

Rick Pappas brokered the deal on behalf of the authors of the musical, Sondheim and George Furth.