CORE STORY: A Wicked movie is finally happening

Photo: Joan Marcus

Photo: Joan Marcus

Chris Luckett

While in recent years, movies have been more likely to be turned into stage musicals than the other way around, any Broadway hit that becomes a show-tune smash tends to be adapted into a film sooner or later.

One of the most anticipated of the last decade has been that of Wicked, the stage show that tell the backstory of “the Wicked Witch of the East” and paints her as less a maniacal villain than a tragic, tortured soul.

The 2003 play, which combined the powerhouse voices of Idina Menzel (post-Rent, pre-Frozen) and Kristin Chenoweth (post-Tony win, pre-Emmy win), is flying into theatres on Dec. 20, 2019.

Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Reader) will direct for Universal Studios, with Marc Platt producing.

Winnie Holzman and Stephen Schwartz will be adapting Wicked from their stage show, which was adapted from Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West — which was, itself, inspired by the L. Frank Baum’s 1900 story The Wizard of Oz and the 1939 movie of the same name.

Universal hasn’t given any word yet about who will play witches Elphaba and Glinda, although originators Menzel and Chenowith are likely too old to be in the running now for the twenty-something witches.

(Menzel recently said as much herself, commenting, “I’m gonna be way too old by the time [Platt] gets it done — unless he CGIs it…I really want him to do that.”)

Wicked, now in its 13th year on the Great White Way, is currently the tenth longest-running show on Broadway and the winner of three Tony Awards.

(Source: Variety)

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