In 1995, filmmaker Richard Linklater released “Before Sunrise,” a quaint little film that focused on a blossoming relationship between a young French woman named Céline (Julie Delpy) and an American man named Jesse (Ethan Hawke). The pair meet on a train somewhere in Europe and decide to spend a day together in Vienna. For 101 minutes we follow Jesse and Céline as they fall in love while walking around the Austrian capital. The film ended with the duo going their separate ways at a train station, but making a promise to each other that they would reunite at the same train station in six months. But this was a pre-social media world, when reunions weren’t that simple. The couple would eventually cross paths again in the 2004 film “Before Sunset,” which takes place in Paris nine years later and ended on a cliffhanger that wasn’t resolved until 2013’s “Before Midnight,” which seemed to put a bow on the series.
But if Ethan Hawke’s recent comments are anything to go by, we probably haven’t seen the last of Jesse and Céline.
“It’s about time for us to revisit that conversation,” the actor told Den of Geek at the South by Southwest Film Festival. “The project feels complete to me. It never felt complete before and it feels complete now, but that doesn’t mean Julie couldn’t change my mind tomorrow,” he added.
“You know what I think it would be?” Hawke asked. “It would start something new with Jesse and Céline. I doubt it would be titled ‘Before,’ if you know what I mean? It would start some new thing. That cycle I think is finished, but you could begin another cycle with those same two characters.”
This isn’t the first time that Hawke has discussed the prospect of a fourth entry.
“I would have said after the second there was definitely going to be a third one, but I do feel complete in that the first one starts with the older couple arguing on the train, and by the end of the third one, we’ve become that couple,” Hawke told The Independent in 2017. “If it were to continue, it would change shape. It would be something else.”
And he’s not the only person involved in the trilogy to entertain the idea.
“No one’s ruling out a quadrilogy or sextology, or whatever. We just don’t know, director Richard Linklater said in a 2017 interview with EW. “Really, we’re a complete blank slate as far as what can be next.”
You’d better get to work, guys!