Dazed and Confused is finally getting its “spiritual sequel,” as writer-director Richard Linklater describes it to Yahoo Movies. More than 20 years after the release of his breakout film, set on a high school campus in the late ‘70s, the acclaimed filmmaker has recruited a new crop of young actors to portraying college life in 1980 in the forthcoming comedy Everybody Wants Some. You can watch the first trailer above, exclusively on Yahoo.
The preview features some callbacks to Dazed. Exhibit A: the glimpse we get of a college freshmen baseball hazing. “No matter how far you go there’s always someone to initiate you,” Linklater tells us. Reminiscent of the high school freshmen paddling scenes in Dazed, Everybody Wants Some has upper classmen hitting balls at first-year players who’ve been duct-taped to the wall of a baseball field. “That exact ritual, like things in Dazed, didn’t happen to me,” Linklater confides. “It happened to a friend of mine in Louisiana. It requires a wooden fence. Thankfully we had a cyclone fence that was ivy-grown [where I went to college] — so nothing to duct tape to.”
While he borrowed that incident from a friend, Linklater’s new film, like Dazed before it, is loosely inspired by his own life and mirrors the timeline of his youth, taking place during the same era he attended Sam Houston State University on a baseball scholarship. Linklater takes the facts and heightens them. “I, for instance, wasn’t a pitcher,” he says of one of his leading characters, played by Blake Jenner (Glee). “I was an outfielder. I just thought pitcher was more active than standing around the outfield.”
There’s another link to Everybody’s precursor: “If you look at Mitch, Wiley Wiggins’s character in Dazed who pitches in that pony league game, this is him, four years later, going off to college. Say he got better at baseball and he’s off to college. It would be right then — 1980.”
Linklater made another connection, pointing out that Everybody Wants Some picks up where his acclaimed 2014 film Boyhood left off. If you remember the film, it ends on the day Mason (played by Ellar Coltrane) moves into his first college dorm room. “The new film is about a guy showing up at college and meeting his roommates,” says Linklater. Though that’s where the similarities end. “For it to be the movie that it is, young Mason would have to be a very different person.” He would have to be in a different era, too!
Fans of Dazed’s period-appropriate soundtrack, featuring early songs from Aerosmith, won’t be disappointed. “I’m reclaiming songs like 'Rapper’s Delight’ and 'My Sharona’ — you know, songs from '79 and '80 that people have been making fun of for a while,” says the five-time Oscar nominee. “I’m back to the original intent of those songs — like what they felt like then. What a revelation 'Rapper’s Delight’ was back in the day. We weren’t making fun of it. It was new.”
There are about 40 songs, according to Linklater, including tracks from the Cars, Parliament, Donna Summer, Eddie Rabbitt, and Van Halen (the movie title pays homage to one of VH’s 1980 singles). “I was struck by the diversity” of the music, says the director. “Dazed was all rock 'n’ roll. By this point disco was still around. Metal was still big time. But you also had country. Urban Cowboy had come out that summer… Then of course punk and new wave was big. That was everywhere.”
The film, starring a sprawling Dazed-like ensemble of young actors, including Glen Powell (The Dark Knight Rises), Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures), Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street), and Tyler Hoechlin (Road to Perdition), zeroes in on the freedom had by college newcomers. “When you go to college, you drop away all the heaviness of your previous life,” says Linklater. “This is that first rush, that whiff you get of, 'Wow, I can stay out all night. I can drink a beer at 10 in the morning. I can eat whatever I want. I can have someone spend the night. I can sleep anywhere I want.’”
Everybody Wants Some enters theaters April 15.
Get a peek at the film’s soundtrack in this poster, featuring cassette tapes of music used in the film:
Check out this exclusive poster!