Richard Linklater in Talks to Direct WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE

     February 25, 2015


Well here’s some fantastic news to brighten up your Wednesday. Coming off his masterpiece Boyhood and with his next film, the college comedy That’s What I’m Talking About, already in the can, filmmaker Richard Linklater is lining up an incredibly promising adaptation as a future project. THR reports that Linklater is in talks to direct Where’d You Go, Bernadette for Annapurna Pictures, potentially bringing his talent to another unconventional family drama.

Maria Semple’s 2012 bestselling novel revolves around a 15-year-old girl’s search for her mother, who up and disappears one day. The book is delightfully told through a series of emails, letters, secret correspondence, and FBI documents as the daughter tries to piece together what happened.


The picture has been in development for a couple of years now, with (500) Days of Summer, The Spectacular Now, and The Fault in Our Stars screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber penning the adaptation. Linklater often writes the films that he directs, so if he signs on I imagine he’ll at least do a pass on the screenplay, but a Neustader & Weber script is no doubt an excellent foundation.

While the filmmaker recently admitted that he’s been thinking about a Boyhood sequel, that film is probably years away, so there was a question of what the filmmaker would be doing next. If Linklater agrees to direct Where’d You Go, Bernadette, the picture would reunite him with Annapurna Pictures’ Megan Ellison, who is producing. Ellison agreed to finance and produce Linklater’s Boyhood follow-up That’s What I’m Talking About, so the two have a working relationship already. This is an incredibly promising marriage of director and material, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that this one works out.

Read the synopsis for Semple’s book below:

Bernadette Fox has vanished.


When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces.


Which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades. Where’d You Go Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are, and the power of a daughter’s love for her mother. []

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