A movie based on stage musical sensation Wicked has been in the works for a few years now, with different versions conjured up before disappearing back into the bubbling development cauldron. But with the latest take, driven by In The Heights director Jon M. Chu, pushing forward at last, Chu has hit social media to announce the latest news – it won't be one movie. It'll be two...
It's certainly an interesting move – and not one used for a movie musical adaptation before. Splitting the narrative has usually been reserved for the likes of Harry Potter and YA novel adaptations with a clear path for future movies. Wicked on stage was a huge pop culture event, but there isn't such a guarantee for success with the first film. And if we've learned anything from cart-before-horse thinking, it's to keep the Divergent series in our heads.
Still, Wicked holds plenty of promise, adapting Gregory Maguire's novel following the untold story of Glinda and Elphaba, the witches from The Wizard Of Oz. The movie comes via the stage production’s book writer Winnie Holzman and Academy Award winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz.
The movie is set to star Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba, who will become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, but who is seriously misunderstood. Ariana Grande, meanwhile, plays the ambitious, popular Glinda.
Wicked has, as Chu's post makes clear, now set a Christmas 2024 release for its first movie, followed by the second in Christmas 2025. Is this a popular decision?