While today at Comic-Con may have seen one take on a prequel to The Wizard Of Oz with Sam Raimi’s Oz The Great And Powerful, Universal – which did not bring any movies to the event – is also pushing ahead with its own very different Oz origin film based on the musical Wicked, dangling the idea of directing in front Stephen Daldry.
Wicked, as you’ll likely be aware unless you’ve somehow managed to miss a mention of one of the biggest showtuners to happen along in years, is based on Gregory Maguire’s novel series, which takes a fresh eye to the background of Glinda and, as she’s called in the books, Elphaba, aka the Wicked Witch Of The West.
The twist here is that the story (in the musical, it starts before Dorothy arrives and then weaves a little bit in and out of the 1939 film’s events) is told from Elphaba’s point of view, the green-skinned outsider who will become the Wicked Witch through circumstances that are not completely her fault. And who may not be as evil as we've been led to believe.
If he does take on the job, Daldry faces a big challenge – the show has such a big following now that fans will be ready to complain about changes. But the plot is naturally cinematic (not really surprising, since it was originally developed as a film…) Plus Daldry certainly has the skills to pull it off. That said, we've been here before: there was talk of this happening back in 2010 and, if we remember rightly, way back in about 2004 as well, so we'll believe it when we see it.