Kinks' 'Schoolboys' to become film musical

Bobcat Goldthwait wrote, will direct movie based on album

LONDON -- The Kinks' album "Schoolboys in Disgrace" is headed for the big screen, backers said Tuesday.

Bobcat Goldthwait, who will direct the movie, has penned a script based on the 1975 LP. The songs were written by Kinks frontman Ray Davies, who will executive produce the project.

Howard Gertler and Tim Perell will produce the movie, being set up to shoot in the U.K. The duo's credits include the Dustin Hoffman-Emma Thompson romantic comedy "Last Chance Harvey" and "World's Greatest Dad," starring Robin Williams.

"Schooboys" will be co-produced by Sarah de Sa Rego, who also collaborated on "Greatest Dad." Andrew D. Tenenbaum will executive produce.

Goldthwait's script tells the story of a schoolboy and his gang who are constantly in trouble with their teachers and fellow pupils. One day, the student is humiliated by his headmaster and vows to fight back against "the Establishment." He later becomes Mr. Flash, the villain of the Kinks' albums "Preservation Act 1" (1973) and "Preservation Act 2" (1974).

" 'Schoolboys in Disgrace' is a story that any kid who has felt that they are not being treated fairly can relate to, all set to some of the greatest rock songs you'll ever hear," Goldthwait said. "It's the genesis story of a supervillain set to music. It's the story of the world's most charming criminal and a realistic high school musical for all the kids who hate sugary, sweet, unrealistic high school musicals."

The album was a moderate commercial success, peaking at No. 45 on the Billboard 200. It didn't spawn any hit singles, but "The Hard Way" became a staple of the band's live set and was covered by the Knack in 1980.

Backers said the original songs would be rerecorded by the eventual cast members, with the soundtrack album being issued to coincide with the movie's release.

The news comes a few days after the death of original Kinks bassist Pete Quaife, who had left the band before the "Schoolboys" album.