After all this time, Wicked is finally getting a movie adaptation.
Universal announced today that the long-awaited film version of the Broadway play with hit theaters on December 20, 2019. Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader) will direct the feature while no cast is attached. Though they haven’t been announced, you can bet Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth will be involved in some capacity, otherwise, producers will feel the wrath of millions of fans.
Wicked, music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, told an alternate take on The Wizard of Oz. It reveals backstory on Elphaba, The Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda, The Good Witch of the North and shows how Elphaba eventually fell from grace and became the evil green woman we all know. Star turns from Menzel and Chenoweth – along with a banner soundtrack – turned Wicked into one of the biggest Broadway shows ever. It recently passed $1 billion at the Broadway box office. That’s a lot of butts in seats.
A film adaptation has been in the works for a long time, mostly in fits and starts. The play opened in 2003 and has been a hit since opening curtain, leaving many directors and actors anxious to bring the production to theaters. This has been a long road but it seems Universal is committed to making it happen now.
With the success of Hamilton, we might be on the verge of a brand new age of Broadway-to-Hollywood adaptations. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s mega-hit has made people very excited about musicals again and you can bet studios won’t be far behind.