Thursday, 21 July 2016

Wicked movie scheduled for December 2019

Before Hamilton became the big Broadway sensation, Wicked was one of the most popular shows in town, and continues to be a heavy hitter with audiences today. After a few years of rumours and possibilities, it looks like Stephen Daldry's (The Reader) cinematic version is finally defying the gravity of development and taking flight, with news arriving via The Hollywood Reporter that Universal Pictures have pencilled in a 20 December 2019 release in the US.

Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean it will actually, finally get made, but that official release date announcement is a much more concrete sign than anything since Daldry's hiring as director.

Adapted from Gregory Maguire's 1995 novel Wicked: The Life And Times Of The Wicked Witch Of The West, the musical kicked off in San Francisco in 1998 before it hit the Broadway stage in 2003, featuring a book by Winnie Holzman and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. It offers an alternative look at L. Frank Baum's Wizard Of Oz, told from the viewpoint of the witches, and gives Wicked Witch Elphaba (named in the novel and musical in tribute to the writer) a heroic, misunderstood arc. It has since gone on to be one of the longest running Broadway shows and has broken box office records.

Universal Pictures actually considered turning it into a movie first, but put those plans on hold when the musical arrived and began playing to packed houses around the world. Now, though, the time seems right to get the film version up on its feet, with producer Marc Platt (Drive) shepherding the production, which will feature Holzman and Schwartz on writing duty. The next big step will be finding the right Elphaba and Glinda, and while we doubt Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth will definitely be taking on their roles, they will probably be cameoing at least.

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