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Dazed And Confused 2 Happened And Barely Anyone Noticed

Did you even realize that Richard Linklater's 1993 teen classic Dazed and Confused had a spiritual sequel? It'd be a lot cooler if you did.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Linklater waxed nostalgic about his 25-year history with the Sundance Film Festival, held annually in snowy Park City, Utah. He appeared at the festival most recently in 2016 to add his commentary to a special screening of Dazed and Confused, his iconic homage to the first day of summer in suburban Texas.

"It doesn't seem to go away, does it?" Linklater mused to The Daily Beast. It really doesn't, and despite the film's extremely long tail on VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, and streaming, Linklater never got it together to produce the long rumored Dazed and Confused 2. Or did he? 

Apparently, 2016's largely unnoticed Everybody Wants Some!! was always intended as a kind of spiritual successor to Dazed. The film premiered at SXSW in March of that year, and went on to wide release in April — so where was all the fanfare?

Everybody Wants Some!! was the sequel to Dazed and Confused, and you totally missed it

Everybody Wants Some!! once again returns to Linklater's native Texas, only this time it's 1980 and we're following college baseball players instead of high schoolers. Despite the name change, the film's protagonist Jake Bradford (Blake Jenner) suggests a future version of Dazed and Confused's Mitch Kramer (Wiley Wiggins), the freshman pitcher who spends most of the movie protecting his butt from O'Bannion's (Ben Affleck) unforgiving paddle. As with Dazed, Linklater wrote and directed the film, infusing the script with his own experience growing up in the Texas of the 1970s and '80s.

As a result, the plot of Everybody Wants Some!! bears a few stylistic and thematic similarities to its forebear, which raises a curious question: Why didn't Paramount market Everybody Wants Some!! as a proper sequel? The film went on to gross $5 million at the box office against a $10 million budget — not exactly boffo, despite some critical acclaim. The answer might lie in the filmmaker's own opinion of the project.

Linklater emphasized that the connection between the films is spiritual rather than direct, which might go a long way toward explaining Paramount's questionable marketing strategy. "It's four years later," Linklater said, in an effort to explain what makes Everybody Wants Some!! distinct. "I was like, 'Why is this so much less stressful? Oh, it's college.' Everything is chill, everyone's got their own space. In high school, you're thrown into a cage match of territory and you don't really have a place of your own. In high school you're stuck together, but in college it's your freedom, your choice. So to me, Dazed was about trying to create something within a lack of freedom, while college is what to do once you've stepped into all that freedom."

Everybody Wants Some!! is currently streaming on Netflix. As for Linklater's next project? Following the success of Boyhood's unusual production, he plans to film a musical over 20 years