If there are three things that Richard Linklater‘s School of Rock taught us about the fine art of hard rocking and getting good grades in elementary school, it’s that rock got no reason, rock got no rhyme and you better get to school on time. Those timeless lessons, drilled into audiences’ heads by the grand master of rock n’ roll Dewey Finn, played by Jack Black, would be immortal by themselves, but now Linklater and Scott Rudin are bringing School of Rock to Nickelodeon as a TV show so the children of the world never have to go without that sweet, sweet hard rocking.
The live-action series has an immediate order for 13 episodes with production begining this fall, and it will follow the same premise of the movie: Finn, a rocker who has seen better days (he will totally have his rent by the end of the week, dudes, okay? — remember that the Legend of the Rent was way hardcore) takes an opportunity to make some fast cash and possibly turn his life around by posing as his roommate at a substitute teaching gig at a prestigious prep school. Instead of following the lesson plan, Dewey forms a class band and gets the kids rocking as fast as possible, because who really needs math anyway?
The show hasn’t been casted yet, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, casting is “imminent.” The show will be written by Jim and Steve Armogida (Crash & Bernstein; My Family), who are also serving as showrunners and executive producers along with Rudin and Linklater. Though the original came out in 2003, there’s nothing dated about watching a man in an ill-fitting sweater vest who’s hopefully, please let it be still Jack Black, dance around with a mic cord in the front of a classroom while attempting to half-ass metal songs about arts and crafts and the times tables. The children of spring 2015, which is when the series will debut, are long overdue for their own metal messiah to guide them through their formative years.
It will be interesting to see if the series shines through with original songs and musical numbers. School of Rock was known for the segments where Dewey got the admittedly uptight kids to loosen up and rock out, both onstage and in their day-to-day life. While practicing for the all important finale battle of the bands, the kids played their best rendition of The Doors, bowed down to Zeppelin and danced it out to whatever grooved them. In their showcase, their original song “School of Rock,” which was attributed to one of the students (but actually penned by screenwriter Mike White and The Mooney Suzuki frontman Sammy James Jr.) and performed by Dewey and the class band, was a sight to behold.
If the show can capture that magic on a weekly basis, then they have something golden on their hands. With the influence of the original director and the original producer on board, it’s probably safe to say that they won’t stray too far from their former glory. Now how do we get ahold of Jack Black about some sweater vest fittings?