Wicked’ is Back on Track with a New Director

Wicked’ is Back on Track with a New Director

There’s good news to share throughout the land of Oz – unlike one of its witches, the movie version of Wicked is very much not dead. The long-in-the-works project lost its director, Stephen Daldry, back in October. Daldry, best known for his work on films like Billy Elliot, The Hours, and The Reader, parted ways with Wicked due to scheduling conflicts. John M. Chu has now signed on to take over. He has already tried his hand at movie musicals with the forthcoming In the Heights, another Broadway adaptation, and has a proven track record thanks to the successful comedy Crazy Rich Asians. Chu was previously attached to the Disney+ series Willow, which was pushed back repeatedly due to COVID-19 production issues.

Wicked has been running on Broadway since 2003, earning numerous awards and being toured both domestically and internationally. Based on the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, the show tells the story of The Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the Wicked Witch, who it turns out isn’t so wicked after all. Marc Platt, who is a producer on the show, will also produce the film for Universal. Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman, who wrote the lyrics and book, respectively, for the stage musical will collaborate on the screenplay.

A film adaptation of Wicked has been discussed for years, and this news makes it all the more likely to actually become a reality. Another Broadway musical, Hamilton, had originally been planned for its own adaptation and then released a filmed version of live performances on Disney+ instead. The most recent reports of the Wicked movie release were for late 2019 and then December 2021, though given that production has not yet started, a date further in the future should be expected.

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