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Richard Linklater’s ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ Adds Mallory Bechtel To Cast

EXCLUSIVE: Mallory Bechtel (Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin) has landed a role opposite Paul Mescal, Ben Platt and Beanie Feldstein in Richard Linklater’s feature adaptation of Merrily We Roll Along, the classic musical from Stephen Sondheim and George Furth.

Details as to her role haven’t been disclosed.

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Merrily follows Franklin Shepard, who after establishing himself as a talented composer of Broadway musicals, abandons his friends and songwriting career to become a producer of Hollywood movies. The story takes place over 20 years, and Linklater will shoot the film over the same time span, taking a page from his playbook on the Oscar-nominated Boyhood, shot over 12 years.

With a book by Furth and music and lyrics by Sondheim, the musical is based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. It ran for 44 previews and 16 performances on Broadway in 1981 and recently returned to Broadway, in the form of a revival starring Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff and Lindsay Mendez, which continues to run at the Hudson Theatre through March 24.

Producers of the feature take are Ginger Sledge, Jason Blum for Blumhouse Productions, Jonathan Marc Sherman, Linklater and Mike Blizzard.

Bechtel has most recently been seen starring opposite Bailee Madison in Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, the fourth series in the popular teen mystery franchise Pretty Little Liars, which is set to return for a second season on Max (under the name Pretty Little Liars: Summer School) later this year. Created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Lindsay Calhoon Bring, the show has her portraying identical twins, Karen and Kelly Beasley, furthering the twin mythology of the original series and young adult novels by Sara Shepard on which the franchise is based.

Making her big screen debut in Ari Aster’s breakout A24 horror Hereditary, Bechtel began her career on stage, at the age of 16 deferring college to become the first Broadway replacement for the role of Zoe Murphy in Dear Evan Hansen. She was also set to perform alongside James Van Der Beek in a limited production of beloved 1960 musical Bye Bye Birdie, before plans were impacted by the Covid pandemic. The actress is represented by Circle of Confusion and CESD Talent Agency.

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