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‘Dazed and Confused’ director says he didn’t make any money, got ‘fucked’ by Universal

  • Richard Linklater said he made no money from “Dazed and Confused”.
  • The acclaimed writer-director said he was ‘snubbed’ of the film’s profits by the film’s studio.
  • “Everyone has this story of getting screwed over with their first project,” he said.

Richard Linklater said he received none of the financial rewards from the success of his hugely popular 1993 film “Dazed and Confused.”

Linklater – who wrote and directed the film that launched his career with the film’s stars including Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck – was asked about the film’s lasting legacy during an interview with The Daily Beast, to which he replied, “Yeah, and it’s like… where’s my money? How come a movie that cost less than $7 million has $12 million in interest against it?

The coming-of-age comedy film chronicles the lives of a group of Texas teenagers on their school day in 1976.

When asked how “Dazed and Confused” could be so widely popular and not reap financial rewards, Linklater replied, “I don’t know. Ask Universal! Hollywood accounting.”

Linklater later added that he once asked Universal for a portion of the film’s popular soundtrack royalties since he picked all the songs. The studio, however, refused his request as it was his first film.

“Everyone has this story of getting screwed over with their first project. That movie was an independent hit. It made more than it cost in theaters, and over the years it’s been everywhere” , said Linklater.

Richard Linklater


Michael Buckner/Getty Images


Insider contacted Universal but did not immediately respond.

Although he’s unhappy with his personal feedback from the film, Linklater said he’s still grateful he got to make “Dazed and Confused,” a movie he said most studios wouldn’t produce today. today.

“It’s so cliché to bitch. But I’ve been through the Hollywood experience,” Linklater said. “Here I’m complaining, but they greenlighted the movie, and they wouldn’t greenlight the movie today.”

Cast of strangers? Period film where not much happens, rolling? A Sundance movie? I don’t think there’s a pitch for this movie today,” he continued, “so I’m sitting here very, very blessed to have come at a time when studios were saying, ‘Hey , we’re gonna do this and that and then throw some change at these guys. I’m still grateful that I made the movie and made it the way I wanted it to be.”

Linklater has spoken openly in the past about not receiving any financial rewards from making “Dazed and Confused.”

“The film made $8 million on a budget of $6.9 million. I never made a dime with anything – I gave up most of my rights to pay for the soundtrack,” the writer-director told the Guardian in 2019.

“I don’t think it’s my best movie, but it represents a rite of passage for the ‘busters’, the end of the baby boom generation. I also like people who weren’t even born in the first place. era who love the film. you, there is something about adolescence that never changes.”

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