Richard Linklater To Shoot Stephen Sondheim Musical ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ Over 20 Years For Blumhouse

Richard Linklater
Michael Buckner/Deadline

In what is Blumhouse’s most ambitious project yet, Richard Linklater is bringing Stephen Sondheim’s musical Merrily We Roll Along to the big screen, but will shoot the film over a 20-year time span. Beanie Feldstein, Ben Platt and Blake Jenner will star.

Principal photography has been completed for the first segment of the film. Linklater shot his Oscar-nominated pic Boyhood over 12 years.

Producers are Ginger Sledge (Where’d You Go, BernadetteEverybody Wants Some!!) and Jason Blum (Whip LashGet Out) for Blumhouse Productions, Jonathan Marc Sherman and Linklater. Rick Pappas brokered the deal on behalf of the authors of the musical, Stephen Sondheim & George Furth.

Merrily We Roll Along was written by Furth, with lyrics and music by Sondheim. It’s based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The musical updated the time frame of the play to 1957-1976. The story revolves around Franklin Shepard who, having once been a talented composer of Broadway musicals, has now abandoned his friends and songwriting career to become a producer of Hollywood movies.

The musical ran on Broadway for 44 previews and 16 performances in 1981.

Linklater currently has the Annapurna pic Where’d You Go, Bernadette? in theaters.

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