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Over 20 years, Richard Linklater will adapt Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along as a film

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Beanie Feldstein and Ben Platt will star

Richard Linklater at the Austin Film Society.
Richard, you scamp!
Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for Austin Film Society

Dear Me 20 Years In the Future,

Hope you’ve been well! I know that’s how I start all of my e-mails, but I really, sincerely do hope it, in this case.

As you may or may not remember, 20 years ago, it was announced that Richard “should have won several Oscars for School of Rock” Linklater would be adapting the Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along over the course of the next two decades. It’s like an über-Boyhood, which told the story of a boy growing up from ages 6-18 — and actually followed a single young man, Ellar Coltrane, for those 12 years.

If you’re reading this at the right time (and Linklater hasn’t died [makes the sign of the cross]), then you’ll probably have seen the trailer already, with Ben Platt playing Franklin Shepard, a famous songwriter and producer, and Beanie Feldstein playing Mary Flynn, a theatre critic and Shepard’s best friend.

The reason for the two-decade wait, of course, is that the musical itself takes place over 20 years, recounting just how Shepard went from penniless composer to golden god. Linklater plans to stay faithful to that timeline.

If the planet hasn’t melted by now, hopefully I’ll see you in another 20 years!

Love,
Me

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