Acclaimed French-American actor and filmmaker Julie Delpy rose to fame in 1995 with Richard Linklater's romantic drama Before Sunrise. Co-starring Ethan Hawke in the lead, the film was about two strangers who meet on a train in Europe and form a deep bond while spending a day together. The minimalistic and monologue-heavy film that takes place over the course of a day is considered one of the greatest movies ever made.
Its success led to two sequels, Before Sunset and Before Midnight, both set nine years apart in real and reel life. A fourth film was in the works last year, but Delpy wasn't interested. However, she had her reasons. A failure to get her film made and thoughts of retirement were the main factors behind her decision to not star in Linklater's film. In an interview with French magazine, Telerama, Delpy talked about retirement and her frustration to get funding for her directorial ventures.
"I often think about it. A year and a half ago, I was not far from it. The hell I went through to produce my film My Zoe had exhausted me. I said no to Richard Linklater for the fourth part of the Before films. I thought that maybe I could go back to school. I would make a very good doctor, for example. You give me three symptoms, and I tell you what you are suffering from...But I like to create, to tell stories; it's stronger than me."
My Zoe deals with the topic of toxic marriage and motherhood and received mostly positive reviews upon release. Delpy has pondered over retirement but it won't be happening till she makes a passion project of hers, A Dazzling Display of Splendor. The film has got Game Of Thrones alum Emilia Clarke attached to star, but Delpy is still struggling to get the film off the ground. Here's what Delpy says about her struggle, "I have a wonderful screenplay, A Dazzling Display of Splendor, about the pioneers of Hollywood. One of the best I've written. A talented and well-known English actress, Emilia Clarke, is attached to the project. And yet, I'm still struggling. Nonstop. I have so many movies in my drawers that will never be shot, if you only knew! I'm fed up."
If somehow Delpy manages to make her next film this year and then has a change of mind about retirement, a fourth Before movie still won't come out till at least 2023. Richard Linklater and Ethan Hawke are both quite busy at the moment. Plus, the pandemic has knocked down the film industry, and if Linklater, a fellow advocate of the theater experience decides to make the film, it would likely have to be on a streaming platform.
Hawke, who co-wrote the last two Before films with Richard Linklater and Delpy, is currently bust filming Marvel's Moon Knight. He is also starring in The Northman alongside Alexander Skarsgård and Nicole Kidman. The Northman is a Shakespearean Viking saga directed by Robert Eggers (The Lighthouse and The Witch) and releases in April 2022. Here's what Hawke told IndieWire last year about the status of the Before trilogy.
"If the first three were all nine years apart, the fourth would not follow that trajectory. Linklater would want a different path, either a short film set four years after Before Midnight or a feature two decades in the future. We think about it. Those are the three best experiences of my life: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight. They are a part of me. So the idea of revisiting it, I would have to believe we could make something as good. Those movies worked because all three of us were making the same exact movie every time. When people make sequels just to be together...like Burt Reynolds just made sequels to party with those friends. They could make a million Cannonball movies. You could tell they were having a great time. I don't know if the audience was. We enjoy working together and being together, but we have to make sure we have something to say."
Let's continue to hold out hope that the trio will come to an understanding and Before 4 will get made. This news comes to us from Indiewire.