Richard Linklater has said that his follow-up to Boyhood, That’s What I’m Talking About, will be a “spiritual sequel” to his Oscar nominated coming-of-age saga that will focus on a crop of characters new to the college scene. But because life doesn’t stop being beautifully complex when you graduate from high school, Linklater is considering making an official Boyhood sequel as well.
In an appearance on the Q&A podcast, the writer-director said that for much of the last year, when people would ask about a sequel to Boyhood he would answer, “Absolutely not.” However, Linklater explained, “I wake up in the morning thinking, ‘the 20s are pretty formative, you know?’ That’s where you really become who you’re going to be. It’s one thing to grow up and go to college, but it’s another thing to… So, I will admit my mind has drifted towards [a sequel].”
Linklater added that he likely would jettison the 12-year structure, the idea for which stemmed from the grade levels in school, if he ever makes the sequel. Maybe that means the next movie will shoot for even longer—perhaps 24 years, or 36, or until Patricia Arquette dies and Linklater can film her actual funeral.
While many would argue that Boyhood doesn’t need a sequel, it’s helpful to remember that people were apprehensive about a continuation of Before Sunrise as well, and then Linklater gave us two stellar sequels that arguably improved upon the first. Maybe a Boyhood trilogy would end up being terrific. The sequel could be called Manhood and follow Mason as he finds a career and meets the love of his life. And the closing chapter could be called Old Manhood and focus on Mason’s retired years, when he takes up birdwatching and wanders around looking for his keys. Boyhood star Ellar Coltrane might be sick of shooting movies by then, but Linklater seems like the kind of director who a performer could probably tolerate for an entire lifetime.