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This movie took 12 years to make, and it might not be finished yet

Richard Linklater's seminal coming-of-age movie Boyhood took 12 years to make and finished when the protagonist turned 18, he may revisit the character aged 30.


It’s been nine years since Richard Linklater’s epic coming-of-age film Boyhood was released, to wide acclaim including nomination for Best Picture at the Oscars. In a new interview with Empire, Linklater says that he hasn’t revisited the film since, but he might do once it’s been 12 years since release (in 2026). The reason for this is that it took 12 years to shoot the teen movie, and Linklater may then make the decision to revisit the character of Mason (Ella Coltrane), who will have entered his 30s by then.

“There were things we could have done [making a sequel before now] – it just hasn’t really grabbed. For all we know, we could just jump in at age 30 or something. Who the hell knows? It still breathes for me. It’s not calcified in some time. I mean, it’s a document of 2002 to 2013, but it was never really just about that.”

“My goal there, probably my larger project in this world, was to – in an entertaining, hopefully watchable way – show what life was like, you know? What it was like to be a human at any moment in time.”

Linklater expects he’ll rewatch the film when its 12th anniversary (the amount of years it took to shoot in the first place) comes around. “Give it a couple more years, and then I’ll watch it again, see how it resonates in my head. But it was such a good experience and achieved what we set out to do. So you leave it there and feel good about it.”

Of course, Boyhood isn’t the only film that Linklater has made that spans a long period of time. His Before Trilogy of romance movies spans eighteen years, beginning with Before Sunrise in 1995, then Before Sunset in 2004, then Before Midnight in 2013. The many, many people who dearly love that trilogy hoped that a fourth movie might come in 2022 (following the nine-year-gap pattern) but that ship has unfortunately sailed.

Linklater made one of the best animated movies (and best movies, period) of 2022 – Apollo 10 1/2: A Space-Age Childhood – which you can find on Netflix. It’s a heavily autobiographical tale of Linklater’s childhood in Houston, Texas – where he grew up close to the NASA Space Center.

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