Jack Black and Richard Linklater on their unlikely partnership on 2003’s feel-good hit, School of Rock

Scott Rudin needed to persuade both star Jack Black and director Richard Linklater that Linklater was the right choice to direct 2003’s film, School of Rock.

As these new interviews for an American Masters documentary on Linklater prove 14 years later.

“At first we were like, that doesn’t make sense because this is like a feel-good hit of the summer type of thing, and we both thought of Richard Linklater as more an art-house type of guy,” said Black.

Linklater initially declined the offer to direct School of Rock, but producer Rudin wouldn’t take no for an answer, insisting they meet first.

“He was just sure I was the right guy to pull this off…I was a color on his palette. Someone else had cast me as the right person to perhaps realize this thing that he thought had potential,” Linklater said. Linklater didn’t think studio comedies tried hard enough to rise to their highest level in the pursuit of blockbuster success. But he also realized: “OK big mouth, this is your chance to make a studio comedy that works at that level.”

Of course, School of Rock not only was that feel-good hit on the big screen, but also more recently as a Broadway musical, too.

These interviews are just part of the 2017 doc, American Masters: Richard Linklater — dream is destiny, premiering nationwide Friday, Sept. 1 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) and available to stream the following day via pbs.org/americanmasters and various PBS apps. Also interviewed for the doc: Matthew McConaughey, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, plus never-before-seen footage and clips from BoyhoodSlacker, the Before trilogy, and Dazed and Confused.

Learn more here about the new PBS American Masters documentary, Richard Linkater: Dream is Destiny.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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