Tony Award winning productions Wicked and Spring Awakening, after a few years stuck in neutral, are both moving forward with film adaptations of their stage productions.
Spring Awakening seems to be on a fast track to becoming a film. Composer Duncan Sheik shared with The San Diego Union-Tribune that he and lyricist Steven Sater are hoping to make the movie this year. The film is set to be directed by McG who also directed Charlie’s Angels, and will be produced by Tom Hanks’ production company Playtone.
Sheik also said that he and Sater wrote a new song just for the movie. “The real truth always is that it’s the only way you’re eligible for an Academy Award, is to have a new song. [So] we’ve written the song. I can’t wait to do it — I hope I get to do it, to record it.”
The Wicked film production is more in the beginning stages. Composer Stephen Schwartz commented at the opening night of Idina Menzel’s new musical If/Then, ” What are we going to change? What are we going to keep? How do you use a whole new language and medium to tell the story? [We can] really look at it again and say, ‘Oh, we can do this, and we’ve always wanted to do that and we couldn’t onstage, but we can in a movie.’ We’re actually having a blast.”
As of now there is no word on whether the original cast of either production would appear on the big screen, though it is somewhat unlikely. The stars of Spring Awakening, Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele, are nearing 30 whereas the story revolves around teenagers. Wicked lead Idina Menzel commented last year “They’ve already told the both of us [myself and Kristin Chenoweth] we’ll be too long in the tooth” when asked about the potential of starring in a film.
More information about each of the productions will be released as the films come into fruition.