The rumors are true: Actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy and director Richard Linklater just wrapped production in southern Greece on Before Midnight, the third movie in their series about the furtive romance between Celine (Delpy) and Jesse (Hawke) that began with 1995′s Before Sunrise (in Vienna), and continued with 2004′s Before Sunset (in Paris). The announcement also came with a first look image from the film, which you can see above. Producers are aiming for a 2013 release.
Fans of Before Sunset will likely recall that the film concluded with one of the most highly regarded endings in recent cinema history, as Jesse, married with a kid, appeared to decide to miss his plane home to the U.S. to spend more time with Celine. Although no plot details for the follow-up were announced, Delpy, Hawke, and Linklater — who won an Oscar nod for Before Sunset‘s screenplay — did collaborate once again on Before Midnight‘s script. “It’s great to be back together again,” the three said in a statement, “this time in beautiful Greece to revisit the lives of Celine and Jesse nine years after Jesse was about to miss his flight.”
While Hawke has been rather forthright about working on a follow-up to Before Sunset, Linklater and Delpy had remained much more coy about the possibility. At the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Delpy told EW that her collaborators were “thinking” about a sequel, but wouldn’t commit to making one out of concern “we don’t find the right thing to say.”
The announcement comes right on the heels of the 2012 Toronto Film Festival, which also serves as a major market for indie distribution. Though the indie film only finished shooting last night, given the widespread popularity of the Before… films and the major anticipation for the follow-up, don’t be too surprised if Before Midnight gets snapped up quickly.