Jack Black Didn’t Want Richard Linklater to Direct ‘School of Rock’ at First (Video)

“At first, we were like, ‘That doesn’t make sense,'” Black says on PBS’ “American Masters”

Last Updated: August 24, 2017 @ 5:37 PM

“School of Rock” was a critical and commercial success when it was released in 2003, but star Jack Black was not initially convinced that Richard Linklater was the right person to helm the comedy.

In a clip from PBS’ upcoming film “American Masters: Richard Linklater — dream is destiny,” Black explains that he and screenwriter Mike White didn’t initially see Linklater — known at the time for 1990’s “Slacker,” 1993’s “Dazed and Confused” and 1995’s “Before Sunrise” — as their top pick. Luckily, producer Scott Rudin was able to change their minds.

“We didn’t have Richard in mind,” Black says. “It was Scott Rudin, who said, ‘I really think you guys should consider Richard Linklater.’ And at first, we were like, ‘That doesn’t make sense because this is a ‘feel-good hit of the summer’ type of thing, and we both thought of Richard Linklater as more of an arthouse type of guy. You know, you think ‘Slacker.'”

As it turns out, the feeling was a bit mutual, as Linklater explains on the PBS documentary that he himself didn’t at first see “School of Rock” as the right movie for him.

“‘Here’s a script, Jack Black’s attached, what do you think?’ And I was like, ‘Eh, I don’t know how to do this,'” Linklater explains. “I passed. I get a call saying, ‘Well, Scott Rudin the producer isn’t accepting your pass.’ I’m like, What does that mean?’ ‘He wants to talk.'”

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“He was just sure I was the right guy to pull this off,” Linklater continues of Rudin. “I’m like, ‘Well, that’s interesting — you’re not just going through the Rolodex.'”

Check out the clip above.

“American Masters: Richard Linklater — dream is destiny” airs Sept. 1 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS.