Addiction is a terrible thing. Anyone who has ever known someone battling this demon knows the pain of seeing them wake up in the morning, determined to kick the habit, only to relapse by the end of the day. The latest high-profile victim of this disease is Richard Linklater, who, despite all his promises to just focus on one movie at a time, is already backsliding. Despite quitting the big-budget CGI talking fish movie to focus on his “spiritual sequel” to Dazed And Confused, he quickly succumbed to the temptation of just straight-up making a Boyhood sequel, too. And now The Hollywood Reporter says that the director is talks to direct an adaptation of Where’d You Go Bernadette, the 2012 bestseller by author Maria Semple.
Refusing to acknowledge that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, Linklater is instead sinking further into the feverish grip of producing multiple movies at once. Presumably, the director thinks he can “handle it”—the claim of all addicts— because he doesn’t realize that Jerry Bruckheimer is not an actual person, but simply an anthropomorphized rubber stamp. This latest project would see him helming the story of Bernadette Branch, a mother and agoraphobic architect who disappears just prior to a family trip to Antarctica—really, the story of all of us. The narrative is told from the point of view of Bernadette’s 15-year-old daughter Bee.
The script, by The Fault In Our Stars screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, is in development at Annapurna Pictures. Annapurna head Megan Ellison probably hooked Linklater by giving him that first sweet taste of producing his baseball comedy for free, then telling him any more movie-making was going to cost him. Which means when Linklater’s intervention is staged, someone should probably point out that he’s actually supposed to be getting paid for doing this—perhaps if he realizes that a paycheck would liberate him from a life of surviving off of craft services, he can get the help he clearly needs.