Richard Linklater’s “The School of Rock” was one of the best films of 2003. That opinion seemed odd to many at the time — it’s one of the handful of latter year declarations I’ve made that just didn’t go down easily for some — but I stand by it. It’s a brilliant screenplay with a top notch movie star performance and it’s a thematically resonant piece of work.
Apparently legendary musical theatre impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber is of a similar mind, as he’s snatched up the stage rights to the 2003 comedy. The news apparently came via CBC radio as Webber said he was very excited to tackle the project.
“There may be songs in it for me,” he said of adding original material to the story, “but it’s obviously got songs as it stands…So I will go from ‘Stephen Ward,’ which is really going to be sort of a chamber musical, to a musical about kids playing the guitar.”
Well, why not? “The School of Rock,” which was an original screenplay by Mike White, is full of potential for a big musical stage presentation. It’s kind of surprising someone hasn’t taken a stab at it already, but a guy like Webber being involved will up the ante all the more.
“The School of Rock,” you’ll recall, didn’t exactly light up the awards season. Though Jack Back did nab a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical. He also won the MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance. (Hey, it’s worth mentioning that, given this week’s upcoming, uh, “ceremony.”) Not only that, he placed third in the New York Film Critics Circle’s Best Actor vote that year. I would argue it deserved more, but I’m content with it simply being a little comedy gem.
Linklater and Black collaborated again last year on “Bernie,” which brought the actor more awards attention. Tells you a little something about what Linklater can do, I’d say.