Carlo Allegri, Associated Press
Spike Lee

Spike Lee will film "Passing Strange," Stew's rock musical journey of self-discovery, during performances next week at Broadway's Belasco Theatre, it was announced Wednesday.

The movie, budgeted at about $2 million, will be shot July 19 at both the matinee and evening performances, Steve Klein, the film's producer, said Wednesday at a news conference. The stage production will also be filmed at two other times in the theater without audiences present.

"Musicians are the greatest artists on this Earth," said Lee, a big fan of the musical since seeing it at the Public Theater last year. "What we are really doing is really a hybrid. We are filming the play."

Lee, director of such films as "Do the Right Thing," "Malcolm X" and "She's Gotta Have It," said there would be surprises in the film but declined to amplify. "Then it wouldn't be a surprise," he said.