I'm sure everyone has their own personal entry for the most romantic movies ever made, but my entire category is made up of movies from the Before trilogy. These movies are the brainchild of Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, and Richard Linklater. They follow a couple named Celeste and Jesse from the time they meet on a train through their marriage.

We usually get one of these movies every nine years, which would put us closing in on the next installment, since Before Midnight came out in 2013. But Delpy said in an interview with Telerama that she turned down a fourth Before movie.

Her reasons are valid. She is struggling with retirement from the film industry and is kind of fed up with the way Hollywood works.

“I often think about it,” Delpy said. “A year and a half ago, I was not far from it. The hell I went through to produce my film [My Zoe] had exhausted me. I said no to Richard Linklater for the fourth part of the Before films. I thought that maybe I could go back to school. I would make a very good doctor, for example. You give me three symptoms, and I tell you what you are suffering from… But I like to create, to tell stories; it’s stronger than me.”

Much of this frustration stems from how hard it's been to greenlight her ideas.

"I have a wonderful screenplay, A Dazzling Display of Splendor, about the pioneers of Hollywood. One of the best I’ve written. A talented and well-known English actress, Emilia Clarke, is attached to the project. And yet, I’m still struggling. Nonstop. I have so many movies in my drawers that will never be shot. If you only knew! I’m fed up.”

That kind of burnout breaks my heart. Delpy is not the first person to bemoan Hollywood's lack of foresight or the horrors of the development process, but she's established enough to hopefully find a way in. Maybe with a streamer. 

It's not just Delpy. Hawke told IndieWire that if a fourth Before movie happened it would change what we know about these movies and their timeline.

“If the first three were all nine years apart, the fourth would not follow that trajectory,” Hawke said. “Linklater would want a different path, either a short film set four years after Midnight or a feature two decades in the future. We think about it. Those are the three best experiences of my life: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight. They are a part of me. So the idea of revisiting it, I would have to believe we could make something as good.”

Hawke went on to say, “Those movies worked because all three of us were making the same exact movie every time. When people make sequels just to be together… like Burt Reynolds just made sequels to party with those friends. They could make a million Cannonball movies. You could tell they were having a great time. I don’t know if the audience was. We enjoy working together and being together, but we have to make sure we have something to say.”

We have no idea if and when we'll get a fourth Before movie, but I like imagining they'll shoot it in secret and surprise us with it one day. Even if not, I'm happy with what these artists have given us already, and I hope for their sake we get to see them creating some new, interesting, and challenging endeavors for years to come. 

Let us know what you think in the comments.