Linklater linked to ‘Rock’

Comedy reteams Black, White, Rudin

Richard Linklater will helm “School of Rock,” the Paramount comedy that reteams the “Orange County” triumvirate of Jack Black, screenwriter Mike White and producer Scott Rudin. Production begins in the fall.

Vehicle will allow Black to display the musical prowess he demonstrates in the band Tenacious D. He plays a musician who moonlights as a substitute teacher, shaking up the halls of an uptight private school with his rock ‘n’ roll ways. Black will begin production after completing the Barry Levinson-directed “Envy” alongside Ben Stiller.

Linklater, best known for the rock-fueled “Dazed and Confused,” takes the job after beginning work on an untitled film about the maturation process of a 7-year-old until he heads off to college. That IFC Prods.-financed film will be shot a few weeks each year for 12 years, starring Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as the parents of the youth, who is being played by Eller Salmon.

Par has set “School of Rock” for a fall production start and a summer 2003 release schedule. It will closely follow the track of “Orange County,” which grossed a respectable $45 million on an $18 million budget.

Keeping busy

Though Rudin is better known for prestige product like upcoming pic “The Hours,” “School of Rock” is one of two films prepping for production that appeals to the younger set.

The other is “Lemony Snicket,” a Barry Sonnenfeld-directed adaptation of the bestselling Daniel Handler book series “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” which Rudin is producing with Albie Hecht and Julia Pistor of Nickelodeon Films.

Jim Carrey is now poised to star in “Snicket.” Linklater is repped by CAA.

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