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Broadway’s WICKED May Be Coming To Movie Theaters In 2016

Wicked has been the #1 musical on Broadway for well over a decade now, and it may be finally making its way onto the big screen in 2016.  Producer Marc Platt, who was behind the recent big screen successes of  Into the Woods and Les Misérables has also been attached to bring Wicked to the movies for several years now. Apparently, a cinema chain in the UK listed Wicked as being on their 2016 list of movies, which prompted website Film Divider to ask Marc Platt if next year was still possible for a release date. Platt replied “Yes. But it’s not set in stone. The process of developing that movie has begun, we’re working on it, and whether it makes 2016 or not, I’m not so sure.”

Writer Winnie Holzman, who wrote the book of the play, is currently writing the screenplay, and Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) is attached to direct. According to Platt, “he’s been on for a year or two. But it’s in process. 2016 is the goal, but I don’t know whether we’ll make that goal or not. We will make the movie, but like I said, the bar is really high. We’re going to scrutinize our work on the screenplay and our prep on the movie, and when we feel like it’s ready, okay. We’re not going to shoot a release date is what I’m saying. It’s in the works, it’s not in a rush.”

For those of you out there completely clueless when it comes to musical theater, Wicked is a 2003 musical adaptation from Stephen Schwartz of a 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire about the true story behind the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. Unlike the original film, Wicked casts her in a far more sympathetic light (and if that sounds like Maleficent, that’s because Disney kinda/sorta ripped off Wicked.)

The book was set to be adapted as a non-musical mini-series on TV some years ago, but nothing ever seemed to come of it. Most successful musical-to-film adaptations happen when the play itself is no longer “hot” or is simply no longer running, but if Wicked makes it to movie theaters in the next few years, it would be unusual, as the show is still doing huge business on Broadway and all over the world. Personally, I hope they make the movie an animated musical, so they can get original Broadway witches Adele Dazeem Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth to reprise their roles.

[HT: Film Divider]

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  1. Samantha Sofka says:

    Adele Dazeeem! I’d love to see a live action one with Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth. Kristen Bell would be a pretty good fit for Glinda too. An animated version would be weird. 

  2. Sara says:

    I would love to see a movie adaptation of the book. It was beautiful albeit nothing like the musical 

  3. Les Miserables was NOT successful.  it sucked big time

  4. Les Miserables was NOT successful  It sucked

  5. Christi says:

    Having a movie adaptation while the show is still hot on Broadway has happened before (RENT, 2005) so there is no reason to think Wicked would be any different. I would be disappointed in an animated version, however. The great thing that is happening here is reviving passion and support for live musical theatre. A good movie adaptation reminds people how wonderful it is to experience that kind of artform and gets them willing to go out and experience it live. By animating it, it removes that humanity from the performance and turns an adult art into kiddie fare. And why… just to have 2 artists who originated the roles reprise them? Well, honestly, they still could, if truly desired. But if Platt has shown nothing else with Les Mis and Into The Woods, it’s that refreshing the cast with new interpretations (even those we may be wary of at 1st announcement) is wonderful and bold… and exactly what theatre is. Movies all to often imortalize a single performer into a role that any future actor has to fight against if the show is ever to be performed again. New casting is a magical way to shake that up.

    • RAE says:

      Why does it HAVE to be a musical?!?!? change it up a bit!!! Everyone will be comparing it to every other musical out there. I doubt it will be a hit on the big screen like it is on Broadway. 

      • Lucy S. says:

        Why?? Because it’s Wicked….it’s a musical.

        • Claire says:

          A musical, which is based on a book. I would actually like to see the movie include some of the detail from the book that the musical doesn’t cover.

    • Juls says:

      I agree. As much as I’m really wary when new movie adaptations are announced, if they’re done well then they succeed in bringing people back to live musical theatre, and that’s a great thing. Yeah, if it’s a terrible adaptation then it’s a huge bummer, but it doesn’t actually change the quality of the original stage show. I didn’t love all of the Les Mis movie (WHY Russell Crowe, WHY?!), but it brought the show to a lot of people who either wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see it on stage.

      I adored Frozen, but making Wicked animated would remove a layer of the emotional depth for me, and their humanity is such an important element of Wicked’s story. Also, as sophisticated as animation is these days, the visual spectacle of the stage sets are something that I can’t see translating as well to animation.

      Making it non-musical seems totally crazy to me, when the songs are one of the most recognisable and beloved things about it.

      I understand people’s desire to see Idina and Kristen reprise the roles, but isn’t it just as exciting to see what fantastic new talent is out there, too? If they really wanted to take advantage of artistic license, they could go so far as to cast different actors for the ‘young’ characters (Act I) and older, well-known actors for when time has passed and they’re supposed to be older (Act II). I’m not saying that they necessarily SHOULD, just that it doesn’t have to be animated for them to cast more experienced actors.

      • Lucy S. says:

        With all the technology out there they can certainly use Idina and Kristen in both rolls and deyoungify them in the later part of the movie.  Both of them look really young.  Even Kristen that Lil munchkin. Loved her in everything she’s done.  If Meryl strep throat is cast in this I’m picketing thier offices.

  6. Gaby A. says:

    Oh good…another Meryl Streep vehicle.  :-/

    • Seriously? says:

      Yes, because God forbid there should be more roles for women over 60. Movies and theatre are just overflowing with them, right? You can’t look anywhere without seeing interesting, complex roles for 65 year old women. They should really give those 20 year olds a chance, huh.

  7. schmaddie says:

    Being animated would work, I suppose…… But why not have the two original actresses reprise their roles in a live action musical flick??!! It’s not like we can’t create an Oz out of CGI and practical sets in the same way they did for the aforementioned Les Miz and Into the Woods. I gotta say, after seeing the off broadway production of Wicked, I want nothing more than to see Kristen Chenowyth be adorable, and Idina Menzel belt it. 

  8. Leah Daniel says:

    I’m so excited for this! But an animation would ruin it, they can get the original witches (which im hoping for) to do the full thing themselves as they are both still on tv and still have roles on broadway. Elphaba isn’t Elphaba if she looks like a cartoon character.
    In saying that, I’m Wicked obsessed so i will probably love it regardless!

  9. sharadoc says:

    Would be a cool Pixar movie, I agree that animation would be great but would it suffer a “Frozen” backlash? As if it was trying to imitate Frozen in some ways, since there are many folks who have never heard of Idina Menzel before Frozen.