Paul Mescal replaces Blake Jenner in long shoot of Richard Linklater’s Merrily We Roll Along

Paul Mescal
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Richard Linklater is embarking on a very, very long film shoot again, and Paul Mescal will now play the lead role in the project.

From a romance revisited every nine years in the magnificent Before trilogy to a boy who grows from toddler to teenager, filmed once a year for twelve years in Boyhood, writer and director Richard Linklater is still breaking new ground when it comes to long form storytelling.

Now, Linklater is in the midst of his most ambitious attempt yet. Merrily We Roll Along is an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical, which tells the story of a composer who gradually becomes embittered with his profession, moving from stage musicals to the movies. It follows him and his friends over the course of twenty years.

Taking that premise quite literally, Linklater began shooting back in 2019 and will film footage of the cast every year for twenty years, meaning the film won’t be released until 2039 or 2040 at the earliest.

Beanie Feldstein and Ben Platt were among those who began shooting a few years ago, but news has broken today that Blake Jenner, with whom Linklater previously worked in Everybody Wants Some!, will no longer be involved. Though he did shoot scenes for the film, he exited the project due to domestic violence accusations against him. Paul Mescal will take over his part, which is the lead role of Franklin Shephard.

It’s been a particularly prolific time for Mescal, this news coming in the same week as he was cast in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator sequel.

There likely won’t be much more news on this one for quite some time, but nevertheless we’ll keep you updated as we hear more.

Image: BigStock

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