Richard Linklater took inspiration from the musical numbers in Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster “Barbie.”

The “Hitman” writer-director revealed to NME that he saw the billion-dollar movie multiple times.

“I liked the musical numbers,” Linklater said. “I liked the movie a lot. It’s worth seeing a couple times.”

He added, “The best thing that happened to cinema in a while is ‘Oppenheimer’ and ‘Barbie.’ Sends a good message. I’m glad those are doing well.”

Linklater is currently working on a musical himself, with the decades-spanning adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along.” The film stars Paul Mescal as a Broadway composer who leaves his theater pals (Ben Platt and Beanie Feldstein) to pursue becoming a Hollywood producer.

The musical, which itself is adapted from a Broadway play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, spans 20 years and is told in reverse chronological order. Linklater is thus filming the feature adaptation backwards, with the story taking place in real-time over 20 years, much like his past coming-of-age film “Boyhood.” Yet Linklater explained how the two films are vastly different in approach.

“It’s funny, on ‘Boyhood’ it was so private, all those years, but this one, because it’s kind of higher profile…it’s a Stephen Sondheim musical. One of my favorites of his,” Linklater said. “Takes place from 1957 to ’76. It’s very different than ‘Boyhood.’ Even though it’s this longitudinal shoot…the music is already written. I have a structure. I’m just trying to make it work the way it might work as a film. So I’m adapting…it’s an adaptation process from stage to screen. So that’s the challenge there. We’ll see. It’s fun so far.”

The “Dazed and Confused” auteur added, “It’s probably the last one for me. Since I’ll be really old when I’m done!”

“Merrily We Roll Along” will film segments every two years until it’s completed; Linklater, who is currently 63, anticipates being in his 80s when the film wraps. He admitted to IndieWire that the schedule will be “all over the map.”

Lead star Mescal similarly wondered to Esquire UK if he would be “regretting” acting choices over the course of production, as there would be no way to reshoot years later.

“I think I’m going to spend the next 20 years regretting choices that I made in some sequences,” Mescal said, “and then forgetting about others and being like, ‘Oh, fuck! We shot that in 2035!’ That’s crazy.”

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