Posted on Sunday, June 7th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
A couple months ago, Chud reported that Richard Linklater briefly talked up a ‘spiritual sequel’ to Dazed and Confused while at an appearance in Austin, TX. Not long after news trickled out that the film’s script was written and Linklater wanted to shoot it this summer, but that he was having trouble securing financing for the project. Now the Risky Biz Blog is reporting that the project has been shelved because the money isn’t there.
Or, at least, we’re assuming that the project in question is actually the non-sequel to Dazed and Confused. Risky Biz is talking about a film called That’s What I’m Talking About, which is said to be more like Dazed than Linklater’s other recent work. That suggests it is the movie originally reported by Chud, which previously didn’t have an announced title. The report says that financiers were interested, but didn’t want to fully get on board without a distributor signing on too; essentially they didn’t want to pay for a film that would get finished but not sold and properly distributed.
And distributors don’t seem to want to get on board with a film that is only in the script stage. Which is not entirely true; just look at Focus Features partnering with Jim Jarmusch for The Limits of Control, which even at the script stage must have looked like a movie that would make ten dollars and potentially divide critics. Wouldn’t a Linklater movie in the vein of Dazed and Confused be far more marketable?
Perhaps the problem is with Linklater’s preferred mode of casting. The ‘spiritual sequel’ evidently followed a group of kids during their first week of college in 1980. Given the way he’s worked before, Linklater could have been looking to cast unknowns (or relative unknowns, i.e. unbankable personalitites) and that could have contributed to the film’s financial problems.
Even getting Dazed made in the first place was something of an achievement, and that was at a time when the indie film market was in much better shape. Hopefully Linklater can find partners willing to jump on this project, or will be willing to sit on it for a while until the market becomes more optimistic.