Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A McG Musical 'Awakening'?

When I first read this article about "Terminator Salvation" director McG circling a movie adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical "Spring Awakening," I immediately cringed.

As a BIG fan of the show, I'd rather not have my very fond memories of that great musical ruined by an out-of-his-league director (that would be YOU I'm referring to, Chris Columbus, and your castrated take on RENT). However, McG may actually be the perfect guy to adapt a musical about masturbating teenagers in 19th century Germany.

[I know what you're thinking. Another musical about masturbating teenagers in 19th century Germany?!]

McG's first studio pic, "Charlie's Angels", was basically a long-form music video. Hyper-kinetic editing, loud, catchy music, ridiculously gorgeous people filling the screen...that kind of style may be what's needed to successfully translate "Spring Awakening" from the theatre, to theaters.

Remember, just because Hugh Jackman says musicals are back, doesn't really mean that's the case. Yeah, "Dreamgirls" and "Hairspray" were big hits (and very entertaining) but "Rent" was considered a can't-miss adaptation - until it arrived as a flat, soulless shell of its Broadway ancestor.

In other words, you need more than just great songs to make a great movie musical.

Sometimes you need to take a sharp left turn from the road of safe travels to make a movie musical work. Think "Moulin Rouge." The angry, desperate voice at the heart of "Spring Awakening" could use a bit of the frat-boy flash McG is known for. No studio is attached yet, so there's still time for this to all fall apart.

If it does happen, will he be able to somehow work in "Spring Awakening" co-creator Duncan Sheik's best-known song into the movie?

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