Jack Black and Richard Linklater are both fondly remembered for the 2003 comedy School of Rock, which featured Black's character teaching music to a bunch of amusing children, but if either of them had there way, that partnership would not have happened. Recently, both Jack Black and Richard Linklater revealed they absolutely did not want Linklater on board as the director of School of Rock. Jack Black told American Masters: Richard Linklater it wasn't a really easy fit to understand, noting,
I can kind of see his point. Now, Richard Linklater is known for Boyhood and Before Sunrise and A Scanner Darkly. At the time the movie was getting made, he was the Dazed and Confused and (still) Before Sunrise and Slacker guy, as Jack Black even mentioned ahead of the upcoming PBS special. No one at the time would accuse him of working on a bunch of broad comedies. Regardless, it wasn't just Jack Black who wasn't interested in seeing the director do School of Rock. Linklater himself recalled he really wanted nothing to do with the movie. He said,
So how the hell did Richard Linklater end up directing School of Rock and later producing the TV series based on the hit comedy? The answer is Scott Rudin. Well, it's not quite so simple. The producer apparently talked to Linklater's people and made it clear that the director was the man he saw for the job. Everyone likes to be fawned over a little bit, and sometimes it only takes one person's vision to get everyone else on board. Per Linklater,
The rest is history. School of Rock went on to make more than $131 million worldwide on a $35 million budget. It's not a movie that is noted on lists of highest grossers or anything, but it was a solid win for Paramount Pictures, and it has spawned a stage adaptation and a television show around the premise. Not bad for a project that no one wanted Richard Linklater on in the first place.
To find out more about Richard Linklater, you can take a look at American Masters: Richard Linklater - Dream is Destiny when it airs on PBS on September 1 at 9 p.m. ET.
Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.
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