Pink Floyd’s “Hey Teacher” to Get Biopic

     November 27, 2010

“We don’t need no education/We don’t need no thought-control,” sang a choir of schoolchildren with heavy British accents back in 1979 on Pink Floyd’s hit song Another Brick In the Wall, which appeared on their seminal album The Wall. Over 30 years later, someone is finally taking an interest in the story of these kids and their maverick music professor who shaped the song.

Andy Harries, best known as producer of The Queen and The Damned United, wants to go beyond The Wall and has thus optioned the life story of Alan Renshaw, a devoted teacher with a punk rock core. Hit the jump to find out more.

When Alan Renshaw arrived at a north London public school, things were difficult and he made it his mission to give a little oomph to the kids. They ended up on one of the biggest hit records of all time, forever etched in music history, their determined voices still resonating over 30 years on. Frankly, I’m not sure the controversial track would have been the same without the choir. There is a strong sense of punk rebellion and defying the establishment, both in the lyrics and the performance. It cost Renshaw his job, but it was all worth it, right?

Steve Thompson is penning the script, his first, for the movie which Harries describes to Deadline as “Dead Poets Society meets School of Rock.”  He doesn’t reveal whether Renshaw or any of the students will be involved in any capacity in the project. They sued the band in 2004, seeking unpaid royalties.

The pessimist in me can’t help seeing clichéd elements from Freedom Writers. A documentary would perhaps have been more hard-hitting.

The Wall inspired the eponymous 1982 animated film directed by Alan Parker and written by Pink Floyd vocalist and bassist Roger Waters, who is currently touring the album. He has yet to grant Harries the rights to the song.

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