Richard Linklater, the auteur behind films like Dazed and Confused, the Before Sunrise trilogy, and A Scanner Darkly may be walking away from the WB’s planned remake of The Incredible Mr. Limpet. The director, who peppers in studio fair like the 2005 Bad News Bears remake between projects he’s more passionate about, seems to want to capitalize on the current buzz surrounding his film, Boyhood, to make another more personal film. The writer-director spent 12 years working on Boyhood, literally shooting the film little by little, with the same cast, depicting a true coming-of-age tale.
The film has been getting absolutely sensational reviews since it’s limited release last month- scoring 99% on RottenTomatoes with 168 critics having chimed in. The film features a cast that includes frequent Linklater collaborator Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, and a handful of unknown actors. The reception to this film, which clearly meant a lot to the filmmaker, has seemingly knocked Mr. Limpet from his list of priorities as he now wants to dive into That’s What I’m Talking About. That film is said to be auto-biographical and, just as Dazed was set at a high school in the 70s, this one would take place at a college in the 80s.
Sources have told The Hollywood Reporter that Linklater is leaving the remake of the 1964 Don Knotts family comedy about a man that transforms into a fish because he’d rather do Talking About first but Warner Bros doesn’t want to wait. The studio is said to have begun its search for a new director, while Linklater is trying to get his new film prepped for a shoot later this year. Linklater had been attached to Mr. Limpet since 2011.
The Incredible Mr. Limpet was based on the novel by Theodore Pratt. The remake has garnered the interest of several actors and filmmakers over the years since it began getting kicked around in 1996. The film’s long development is likely another reason Linklater has walked away. Over the years, filmmakers like Steve Oedekerk, Mike Judge, and Kevin Lima have been tapped to bring the film to life. Jim Carrey had even signed on to star in the film back in 1997, but walked away because development stalled and the fact that mo-cap technology wasn’t where it needed to be to make the film look right. In the years since Carrey’s departure, Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, and Mike Myers have been approached for the role.
The most recent news on the project, outside of Linklater’s departure, is that Jon Hamm, Danny McBride, Sarah Silverman, Kevin Hart, Josh Gad, Keegan Michael Key, and Jordan Peele have all entered talks for roles in the film. With Linklater leaving, though, it’s unclear how that will effect the negotiations.
That’s What I’m Talking About would follow a group of freshman trying to make their way through their first year of college while also trying to make the baseball team. The film is said to be somewhat based on Linklater’s own life experiences. The film currently has no cast, but I’m sure the director will have no trouble bringing in some Grade A talent, and if he’s looking to start filming within the next 3 months it’s highly likely he’s quietly tapped some talent for the project all ready.