School of Rock
|School of Rock|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Richard Linklater|
|Produced by||Scott Rudin|
|Written by||Mike White|
Joey Gaydos Jr.
|Music by||Craig Wedren|
|Edited by||Sandra Adair|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||109 minutes|
School of Rock (also called The School of Rock) is a 2003 American comedy film directed by Richard Linklater, written by Mike White, and starring Jack Black. The main plot follows struggling rock singer and guitarist, Dewey Finn (portrayed by Black), who is kicked out of his band No Vacancy and subsequently disguises himself as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. After witnessing the musical talent in his students, Dewey forms a band of fourth-graders to attempt to win the upcoming Battle of the Bands and pay off his rent. The picture's supporting cast features Joan Cusack and Sarah Silverman.
The film begins with a rock band called No Vacancy performing at a nightclub. Guitarist Dewey Finn (Jack Black) creates on-stage antics that unnerve his bandmates and the crowd. The next day, No Vacancy votes Dewey out of the band and replaces him with another guitarist named Spider. Ned Schneebly is pressured by his girlfriend, Patty Di Marco, to evict Dewey unless he starts paying rent, which is four months overdue. Dewey answers a phone call intended for Ned from Rosalie Mullins, the principal of a prestigious private preparatory school, offering Ned a job. Dewey impersonates Ned and takes the substitute teacher position for a fourth-grade class.
When Dewey overhears their music class, he realizes they have musical talent. He sets the class a school project: form a band and win the Battle of the Bands, where No Vacancy is competing. As part of their training, Dewey teaches the history of rock music. He befriends Principal Mullins by playing her favorite song "Edge of Seventeen" by Stevie Nicks on a jukebox.
The class auditions for the Battle of the Bands, but are rejected for lateness after Dewey talks with Tomika about her singing because she thinks she fat; Dewey gives her examples of positive female role models. Freddy leaves the group to hang out with a group of posers in their van, causing Dewey much anxiety until he finds him. When the Battle of the Bands manager says that Dewey and kids are not what they're looking for, Dewey reveals that the kids have worked their fingers to the bone to play a song for them. With the help of the band manager, pupil Summer Hathaway (Miranda Cosgrove), Dewey persuades the managers to let the students perform by claiming the students are orphans with a rare blood disease. Ned receives a paycheck from the school, realizing that Dewey is impersonating him. At the evening's parent-teacher conference, the parents question Dewey about their children's new interest in rock music. Ned and Patty appear with the police, exposing Dewey. Dewey reveals his true identity, admits everything, and is sacked. After an argument with Patty that results in her storming out, Ned admits that he still misses playing music, but thinks that it's time that Dewey had moved out.
The next day, the class decides to go ahead with the Battle of the Bands performance and recruit Dewey to lead them. Ms. Mullins receives numerous complaints from all the parents until she leaves the room and sees a teacher searching for the kids. She notices that the kids have gone missing. Ms. Mullins and the parents go to the venue to take their children back, believing that Dewey has abducted them. Ned and Patty see the Class and Dewey getting ready to go to the venue and Patty threatens to call the police again. But Ned decides to go to the concert and closes the door on Patty in the middle of her rant. The class band, the School of Rock, plays an original song written by their lead guitarist, Zack, impressing the audience. Despite winning over the crowd, School of Rock loses to No Vacancy. However, the winning acceptance is booed at and the crowd demands School of Rock to perform an encore. Sometime later, Dewey opens the School of Rock, an after-school program where he continues to coach the class and Ned teaches beginners. The band plays during the end credits, and they even break the fourth wall by singing "The movie is over, but we're still on screen".
- Jack Black as Dewey Finn (lead singer, guitar)
- Joan Cusack as Principal Rosalie "Roz" Mullins
- Mike White as Ned Schneebly
- Sarah Silverman as Patty Di Marco
- Miranda Cosgrove as Summer "Tinkerbell" Hathaway (band manager)
- Joey Gaydos Jr. as Zack "Zack-Attack" Mooneyham (lead guitar)
- Kevin Clark as Freddy "Spazzy McGee" Jones (drums)
- Rebecca Brown as Katie "Posh Spice" (bass)
- Robert Tsai as Lawrence "Mr. Cool" (keyboard)
- Maryam Hassan as Tomika "Songbird", "Turkey Sub" (second voice, lead choir)
- Caitlin Hale as Marta "Blondie" (choir)
- Aleisha Allen as Alicia "Brace Face" (choir)
- Brian Falduto as Billy "Fancy Pants" (stylist)
- Zachary Infante as Gordon "Roadrunner" (assistant, lights)
- James Hosey as Marco "Carrot Top" (assistant, special effects)
- Angelo Massagli as Frankie "Tough Guy" (security)
- Cole Hawkins as Leonard "Short Stop" (security)
- Jordan-Claire Green as Michelle (groupie)
- Veronica Afflerbach as Eleni (groupie)
- Adam Pascal as Theo
- Lucas Babin as Spider
- Lucas Papaelias as Neil
- Shawn Rodney as Shawn
A stage dive gone wrong incident involving Ian Astbury of rock band The Cult was witnessed by Jack Black, and was used as inspiration for a scene in School of Rock, in which the character Dewey Finn, stage dives and hits the floor; "I went to see a reunion, in Los Angeles, of The Cult; they were playing and Ian Astbury, the lead singer, took a dive. It was at The Viper Room, and it was just a bunch of jaded Los Angelinos out there, and they didn't catch him and he plummeted straight to the ground. Later I thought it was so hilarious. So that was put into the script."
Many scenes from the movie were shot around the New York City area. The school portrayed in School of Rock is actually Main Hall at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York. In the commentary, the kids say that every hallway scene in the movie was shot in exactly the same hallway. The tag lines are references to famous rock songs: "We Don't Need No Education" is a famous line from "Another Brick in the Wall, Part II" by Pink Floyd and "Come On Feel the Noize" is taken from "Cum On Feel the Noize" by Slade. One of the theaters used in many of the shots was at Union County Performing Arts Center located in Rahway, New Jersey.
A soundtrack album of the same name was released on September 30, 2003. The film's director, Richard Linklater, scouted the country for talented 13-year-old musicians to play the rock-and-roll music that features on the soundtrack and in the film.
The soundtrack includes "Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin, a band that historically has not allowed their songs to be used for commercial purposes, and rarely give permission for anyone to use their songs, one noted exception being filmmaker Cameron Crowe, who was the only person to write about them favorably while he was a writer for Rolling Stone magazine. To get permission, Richard Linklater came up with the idea to shoot a video on the stage used at the end of the film, with Jack Black begging the band for permission and the crowd cheering and chanting behind him. The video was sent directly to Led Zeppelin, and permission was granted for the song. The video can be seen on the DVD extras.
Music featured within the film
* Featured on the Soundtrack album
School of Rock has received critical acclaim, with Black's performance being praised by many critics. It received a "Certified Fresh" rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 192 reviews with an average rating of 7.8/10. On Metacritic, the film has a rating of 82/100 based on 41 collected reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim".
Box office performance
According to Box Office Mojo, School of Rock opened at #1 with a weekend gross of $19,622,714 from 2,614 theaters for an average of $7,507 per venue. In its second weekend, the film declined just 21 percent, earning another $15,487,832 after expanding to 2,929 theaters, averaging $5,288 per venue, and bringing the 10-day gross to $39,671,396. In its third weekend, it dropped only 28 percent, making another $11,006,233 after expanding once again to 2,951 theaters, averaging $3,730 per venue, and bringing the 17-day gross to $54,898,025. It spent a total of six weeks among the Top 10 films and eventually grossed $81,261,177 in the United States and Canada and another $50,015,772 in international territories for a total gross of $131,282,949 worldwide, almost four times its budget of $35 million.
Awards and nominations
The film was nominated for several awards, including Black receiving Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Comedy or Musical (which he lost to Bill Murray for Lost in Translation), and winning an MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance.
In 2008, Jack Black stated a sequel was being considered. It was later reported that director Richard Linklater and producer Scott Rudin would return. Mike White was returning as screenwriter, titled School of Rock 2: America Rocks, which picks up with Finn leading a group of summer school students on a cross-country field trip that delves into the history of rock 'n' roll.
In 2012, Jack Black stated a sequel was unlikely, "I tried really hard to get all the pieces together. I wouldn't want to do it without the original writer and director, and we never all got together and saw eye-to-eye on what the script would be. It was not meant to be, unfortunately", but added, "never say never".
On April 5, 2013, Andrew Lloyd Webber announced that he has bought the rights to School of Rock to a stage musical. No other information, including cast, creative team, and production, is known yet.
On August 29, 2013, a 10 year anniversary screening of the film was held in Austin, Texas at The Paramount Theatre. Those in attendance included director Richard Linklater, Jack Black, Mike White, Miranda Cosgrove and the rest of the young cast members except for Cole Hawkins (who played Leonard).
The event, hosted by The Austin Film Society and Cirrus Logic, included a red carpet, a full cast and crew Q&A after the screening, where the now-grown child stars discussed their current pursuits in life, and a VIP after-party performance by the School of Rock band during which "School of Rock" and "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" were played.
On August 4, 2014, Nickelodeon had announced that they are working with Paramount Television on a television show adaptation of the movie and it would be produced by the director and writer of the film. Production started in the fall and it is scheduled to premiere in 2015.
- "SCHOOL OF ROCK (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. October 8, 2003. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
- "School of Rock (2003)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
- "Jack Black Interview, indielondon, Q and A". IndieLondon.co.uk. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- Balsamini, Dean (September 7, 2008). "Wagner College to celebrate 125th anniversary". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved December 9, 2009.
- "School of Rock (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
- "School of Rock (2003)". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
- "Jack Black to return to class for School of Rock sequel". Adfero.co.uk. July 14, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
- Siegel, Tatiana (July 13, 2008). "Paramount goes back to School". Variety. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
- Tyler, Josh (July 14, 2008). "Jack Black Set for School of Rock 2". CinemaBlend.com. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
- "JACK BLACK PLANNING SCHOOL OF ROCK REUNION". Hollywood.com. October 3, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
- "Andrew Lloyd Webber to stage School of Rock musical". BBC.co.uk/news (BBC News). April 10, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
- "Andrew Lloyd Webber to stage School of Rock". TheGuardian.com. The Guardian. April 8, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
- "Andrew Lloyd Webber To Bring SCHOOL OF ROCK To The Stage". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- Matthew, Jacobs (August 30, 2013). "'School Of Rock' Reunion Brings Jack Black, Miranda Cosgrove, Richard Linklater And More Together 10 Years Later". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- "'School of Rock' cast including Jack Black, Miranda Cosgrove reunites for 10 year anniversary". New York: NY Daily News. August 30, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- "'School of Rock TV Series Coming to Nickelodeon". roosterteeth.com. August 4, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- Official website
- School of Rock at the Internet Movie Database
- School of Rock at Box Office Mojo
- School of Rock at Rotten Tomatoes
- School of Rock at Metacritic