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Wicked Ready To Bewitch Directors?
Abrams, Marshall and Mangold all touted

10 July 2010  |  Written by James White  |  Source: Deadline

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Given that there are approximately 279 film projects focused around various takes on The Wizard of Oz floating around Hollywood right now, Universal finally starting to shift into gear on adapting the musical Wicked seems like getting in on the action a little too late. But that’s not stopping the studio, which has apparently taken meetings or heard from the likes of JJ Abrams, Rob Marshall, James Mangold and Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy on the idea of directing the eventual film.

Wicked, adapted from Gregory Maguire’s bestseller about the early days, private lives and real motivations of Galinda and Elphaba (who would become Glinda the Good and The Wicked Witch of the West respectively), was originally aimed for the screen years ago. But producer Marc Platt and the Universal bods opted to turn it into a stage musical instead, with the result spawning one of the most successful theatrical productions of all time. Adding up all the various city-based and touring productions, Wicked has earned more than $2 billion so far. Which might go some way to explain why no one has been in a hurry to exploit its massive movie opportunities… at least until now.

We’re in a post-Alice in Wonderland world, and with the mad Oz scramble on, the chance to bring a movie that has a massive built-in fan base and quick recognition factor for even those who have never heard of the thing to the screen must be a huge attraction for Universal, which is clearly hoping for another success along the lines of Mamma Mia!

And that list of directors is certainly… eclectic, which seems to indicate just how much interest there is in making this thing. And while we can see exactly why Murphy, Marshall and even Mangold (who dabbled with musically-flavoured filmmaking to a lesser degree on Walk The Line) would be interested, JJ Abrams’ name is the odd one out. And that’s despite his musical contributions to his TV work. Still, he knows how to stage spectacle, which Wicked would surely need.

According to Deadline, the studio will hold more meetings with interested filmmakers once the musical’s songwriter Stephen Schwartz and book writer Winnie Holzman hit town later this year, with the plan to get the movie made as soon as possible.

So tell us, Wicked fans… Who would you cast? Itching to see Universal go the Rent route and put original musical stalwarts Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth in the leads? Or did the failure of Christopher Columbus’ adaptation point to the fact that you need new blood? The story does start with the two main girls at school, so maybe the likes of Glee’s Lea Michele (who looks enough like Menzel that the musical star was cast to play her mother on the show) can get a shot…

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Your Comments

Lee Mead as Fiyero
Lee Mead is too old to play Fiyero on stage let alone in the film! More

Posted by elphiexx at 22:48 on 20 July 2010 | Report This Post

Lea Michelle wouldn't have time to film if they have such a tight schedule and to be honest i'm a bit sick of the sight of her. Os long as they rope in some real musical theatre performers and not some singer-turned-actress it'll be fine. More

Posted by BethN21286 at 11:41 on 12 July 2010 | Report This Post

Time For Some New Blood
Lea Michelle has been mentioned a few times and I'd be inclined to agree with her as Elphaba. Amanda Seyfried (Sophie in' Mama Mia') would make a good Glinda. I also think Lee Mead (the current Fiyero in London's West End) would be an inspired choice for Fiyero. More

Posted by johartuk at 19:13 on 11 July 2010 | Report This Post

Lea Michele and Amy Adams. Edina and Kirsten to old now. Abrams would be the best. Breathe some new life into Musicals. More

Posted by fatboycheese at 14:07 on 11 July 2010 | Report This Post

Hmmmm, loved the show but this will be a tricky one to get right. How about Zoe Saldana as Elphaba and Amy Adams as Glinda? Jim Broadbent as the Wizard? And after "Nine" I think we should rule out Rob Marshal. He shoots musicals as though he was in the audience with a camcorder.So flat and dull. Give it to Abrams.....or Sam Raimi? More

Posted by theblock80 at 12:26 on 11 July 2010 | Report This Post

Lea Michele without a doubt!!! I love Menzel and Chenoweth and on stage they can play schoolgirls easily, but in a movie having around 40 year olds play half their age is farcical. More

Posted by Guinevere at 12:00 on 11 July 2010 | Report This Post

the second best cast
As much as I would love to see Kristen Chenoweth and Indina Menzel in the roles - they may have outaged them. The second-best choice would be Amanda Seyfried (Glinda) and Lea Michele (Elphaba) for a fresh take... More

Posted by lemmy_danger at 11:39 on 11 July 2010 | Report This Post

I am a straight adult and I love both the Wizard of Oz and Wicked: The Musical. More

Posted by cabooklover at 01:16 on 11 July 2010 | Report This Post

as much as i love Rob Marshall (Chicago is easily my favourite musical) i don't want him directing Wicked. Unless he goes against his style of staging the musical number in the characters head. i just don't see it working as well for Wicked. as for the cast, Idina and Kristen would be awesome. as long as their in it, i'll be happy More

Posted by robstephens at 23:11 on 10 July 2010 | Report This Post

Why not adapt the book itself instead of the fucking musical, jesus there is already a shitty musical kids version of OZ, The Wizard of Oz. Why not do version of OZ for adults and straight people. More

Posted by dgribble at 22:56 on 10 July 2010 | Report This Post

Finally some news on this movie! Chenoweth and Menzel would be the perfect casting they have both done television and movies as well as theatre so I can't see any problems there same for Joel Grey, The Wizard, and Adam Garcia. But, I know Hollywood so I think they'll end up casting new people entirely and surprise surprise it will disappoint. On another note I thought I had to double take when I read Abrahms name listed, I cannot fathom that one and don't think I'd like to see it done, More

Posted by aidan_phantom at 20:52 on 10 July 2010 | Report This Post

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