Blue Man Group heads to bigscreen

Charlotte Huggins to produce Imax 3-D musical

The Blue Man Group has pacted with producer Charlotte Huggins (“Journey to the Center of the Earth”) to star in their first film.

The musical will be made for Imax 3-D with an eye toward a wider release on standard-sized digital 3-D screens.

The original Blue Man stage trio of Matt Goldman, Chris Wink and Phil Stanton will star. Lensing is expected to start next June with an eye toward a June 2010 preem.

Pic will be a new idea created specifically for 3-D film. Blue Man Group is keeping details under wraps, but Goldman told Daily Variety, “It’s going to have a story, believe it or not. It’s going to have real science content, and we’re excited about being in the neuroscience space.”

“We had a lot of ideas of things coming at you, splashing of paint, explosions of color,” he added. “It’s a complete mesh of everything that we love.”

Conversations are under way with directors. “We can handle the 3-D and the giant screen,” Huggin said. “We’re looking for someone with the comedic and storytelling chops.”

Several companies tried to develop Blue Man Group movies over the years, Goldman said.

“Back in Katzenberg’s day at Disney, they actually assigned Frank Oz to work with us. We just couldn’t figure it out. It’s a hard medium when you don’t talk.”

But seeing 3-D movies over the past couple of years made the group reconsider a bigscreen foray.

Huggins said, “The 3-D space is a very physical space, and the comedy and drama of the Blue Man Group is very physical, so it’s a good fit. It’s about the physicality of 3-D.”

Blue Man Group will partially finance the pic. Additional financing will come from traditional Imax funding channels, including equity investors, sponsorships and Imax exhibitors.

Huggins said, “Doing something fun and engaging with an audience with a base in science is incredibly appealing to the Imax exhibitors.”

Blue Man Group has been running onstage in Gotham since 1991, though the show has evolved over the years. There are productions in four U.S. cities, including New York and Las Vegas, as well as Tokyo and two German cities.