Reuniting Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy every nine years to film another entry in the Before… franchise makes for quite the ambitious endeavor, but director Richard Linklater may have outdone himself with Boyhood. Often referred to as the “The Twelve Year Project,” Boyhood was filmed as a series of 12 shorts between the years of 2002 and 2013 and covers 12 years in the life of a family. The film is set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19.
Ethan Hawke spoke about the project last year during a Reddit AMA:
“Richard Linklater and I have made a short film every year for the last 11 years, one more to go, that follows the development of a young boy from age 6 to 18. I play the father, and it’s Tolstoy-esque in scope. I thought the BEFORE series was the most unique thing I would ever be a part of, but Rick has engaged me in something even more strange. Doing a scene with a young boy at the age of 7 when he talks about why do raccoons die, and at the age of 12 when he talks about video games, and 17 when he asks me about girls, and have it be the same actor – to watch his voice and body morph – it’s a little bit like timelapse photography of a human being. I can’t wait for people to see it.
Next year, he will graduate high school and we will finish the film. It will probably come out in 2 years.”
Those final two years clearly came together more quickly than Hawke expected, but that’s likely because it sounds like Linklater has been editing the film as he goes. The final product clocks in at an understandably lengthy 164 minutes and will be one of the hot tickets at the festival, which kicks off on Thursday.