Movie Adaptations Of 'Wicked' And 'Spring Awakening' Move Forward

What is this feeling? Enthusiasm -- because two popular Broadway musicals are making strides in their leap to the big screen.

"Wicked" and "Spring Awakening," which both won multiple Tonys in the 2000s, have been waiting in the wings for film adaptations for a few years now. It turns out both are moving forward.

Vulture caught up with "Wicked" composer Stephen Schwartz at the opening night of Idina Menzel's new musical, "If/Then," where he said the "Wizard of Oz" origin story has "started gearing up."

"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?" Schwartz pondered. "[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."

"Spring Awakening" -- the coming-of-age musical that originally starred Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele -- is on a faster track than "Wicked." Composer Duncan Sheik told The San Diego Union-Tribune that he and lyricist Steven Sater are hoping to make the movie this year. McG, who directed "Charlie's Angels" and produced "The O.C.," is set as director of the adaptation, which will be produced by Tom Hanks' production company, Playtone.

Sheik said he and lyricist Steven Sater wrote a new song 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," he said. "[So] we’ve written the song. I can’t wait to do it -- I hope I get to do it, to record it.

There's no word yet on whether the original cast members of either musical will appear on the big screen. It's unlikely Groff and Michele could star in "Spring Awakening," as the story revolves around teenagers and both actors are nearing 30. Apparently a similar fate will meet "Wicked" leads Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth. "They've already told the both of us we'll be too long in the tooth," Menzel said last year when asked about the potential of a movie.



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