McG is attached to direct and would act as a producer.
The project is not yet set up at a studio, though McG’s Wonderland Sound and Vision has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. McG may opt not to go the studio route in order to make a more intimate, or indeed an edgier, movie version.
Set in 19th-century Germany, the coming-of-age story follows a group of teens discovering their sexuality and dealing with high-wire topics like masturbation, abortion, rape and suicide.
Sater and rocker Duncan Sheik based the musical on an 1891 German play and their resulting work resulted in a runaway Broadway success. The tuner won Tonys for best musical, best book, best original score and best actor.
McG, who is in post on the tentpole “Terminator Salvation,” is not that odd a choice to helm a the film adaptation: The director got his start in the music business, first as a songwriter (he produced Sugar Ray’s first album and co-wrote songs on the second) then as a video director. He also has kept one toe in the teen pool by exec producing such youth-centric shows as “The O.C.,” “Chuck” and the upcoming drama school-set pilot “Limelight.”
Sater, who shares the movie rights with Sheik and the stage producers of “Awakening,” is repped by CAA, while McG is repped by Endeavor and Management 360.