free hit counter code Paul Mescal’s new film will take 20 years to complete – yes, really – Freeht.buzz

Paul Mescal’s new film will take 20 years to complete – yes, really

Close up shot of Paul Mescal
The Aftersun star is sticking around for the long haul (Picture: Getty)

Hollywood’s breakout star Paul Mescal is about to embark on his longest movie yet, with production taking course over the next two decades.

The Normal People star has started filming the adaptation of the hit stage musical Merrily We Roll Along, a story that follows three friends throughout – you guessed it – the 20 years from college to middle age.

Helmed by Boyhood director Richard Linklater, Paul plays Hollywood producer Franklin Shephard who has a turbulent relationship with longtime friends theatre critic Charley Kringas (Theatre camp star Ben Platt) and writer Mary Flynn (Booksmart actor Beanie Feldstein) – told backwards through time.

The original George Kaufman play came out in 1934 and was adapted into a Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim in the 1980s where it struggled through a disappointing 16-performance run.

But now the story is back in the spotlight after a triumphant return to Broadway with Jonathan Groff, Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez leading the Tony-nominated revival.

For those excited to see Paul, 28, back on the big screen in his version of Merrily We Roll Along, you have quite a while yet to wait as Richard recently explained.

Beanie Feldstein
Beanie will star alongside Paul (Picture: Kristin Callahan/Shutterstock)
Ben Platt
As will theatre star Ben (Picture: Getty)

‘He’s just a transcendent talent, and he can really sing,’ Linklater told The Times about the All of Us Strangers actor. ‘I’m just so happy we connected on this project, right before he went supernova.’

The new adaptation has nine filming blocks, according to the filmmaker who is all too used to long-form cinematic challenges.

His best-known movie, Boyhood, was filmed over the course of 12 years – eventually coming out to critical acclaim in 2014 – as star Ellar Coltrane grew up before the eyes of the audience.

If all goes to plan, Merrily We Roll Along will wrap filming in 2041 by which time Richard will be 80-years-old. Meanwhile Paul will be 45.

Paul, who replaced disgraced Glee actor Blake Jenner on the project in early 2023, has already completed two of the nine segments.

Richard Linklater
Richard is known for his ambitious films (Picture: Getty)
Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff and Lindsay Mendez in 'Merrily We Roll Along'
There is currently a decorated Broadway revival (Picture: John Nacion/Shutterstock)

‘Of course, mortality crosses my mind, but I’m just playing the actuarial table thing. I’ll probably be around. And if I’m not, I have a few other people who could finish it and it would still be a decent film.’

When the project was first announced in 2019, Richard expressed his enduring love for the musical.

‘I don’t enter this multi-year experience lightly, but it seems the best, perhaps the only way, to do this story justice on film,’ he added at the time.

Oscar-nominee Paul’s schedule is booked and busier than ever these days.

He is also set to star opposite Josh O’Connor in war romance The History of Sound, as William Shakespeare in Chloe Zhao’s Hamnet adaptation, and he is part of an all-star ensemble for Ridley Scott’s Gladiator II.

And he is already being eyed up for yet another iconic role according to The Hollywood Reporter who claimed director Sam Mendes wants the Irish actor to play one of the Beatles in a biopic.

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