‘School Of Rock’ “didn’t feel like a big hit” at first, says director Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater has reflected on the success of School Of Rock, saying it “didn’t feel like a hit” when he first approached the project.

Starring Jack Black as a struggling guitarist who poses as a substitute teacher, the comedy film grossed over $130million worldwide on a $35million budget when it released in 2003. It’s since spawned a stage adaptation and a TV spin-off on Nickelodeon.

Speaking to NME about the film, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, director Linklater said: “I loved working on that movie and I loved Jack, and the whole process. But I did that for my own very personal reasons.


“When I went into that project, it didn’t feel like a big hit. It could’ve been a pretty cheesy little movie, the way it might’ve been going!”

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The director described his 1993 breakout film, Dazed And Confused, as an invaluable learning curve. “It was really just a first-time trip into studio-land,” Linklater said. “I learned on that film how to make a movie. How to deal with financiers, and how to deal with people.

“It’s gotten easier and easier over the years. A lot of the job is communication, setting the tone and making sure everyone is cool with the movie you’re making.”

After being a flop at the box office, Dazed And Confused has since become a cult classic, featuring early turns from actors Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck and Milla Jovovich.

Linklater’s next film is action comedy Hit Man starring Glen Powell, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 5. The film, which will have its UK premiere at the London Film Festival next month, also stars Adria Arjona and Austin Amelio.


The director is also working on a film adaptation of stage musical Merrily We Roll Along starring Paul Mescal, which is set to be filmed over the next 20 years. “It’s probably the last one for me,” Linklater said. “Since I’ll be really old when I’m done!”