When anyone talks about a musical this year, there is a very good chance that they’re talking about the eleven-time Tony-winning ‘Hamilton’ from the inimitable Lin-Manuel Miranda. However, back in 2003, the hit show that had everyone dancing through life was ‘Wicked’, the wonderful prequel/reimagining of the classic ‘Wizard of Oz’ story told from the point of view of a young woman who would come to be known as the Wicked Witch of the West. And though the popular show has gone on to set records and spawn numerous productions around the world, the rumored film version that has been talked about since 2004 has never come to fruition. However, that will soon change as Universal Pictures has finally scheduled their one short day in the Emerald City.
What is this feeling? Oh yeah, complete and utter excitement because earlier this week, Universal revealed the release date for the cinematic adaptation of the acclaimed show based on Gregory Maguire’s novel, ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ via their Twitter account. The tweet features the now iconic image of Elphaba and Glinda from the show’s original poster adorned with the phrase “The Motion Picture Event”. You can check out the announcement below:
The musical phenomenon WICKED comes to the big screen. In theaters 12.20.19. pic.twitter.com/rFojgh56oH
— Universal Pictures (@UniversalPics) June 16, 2016
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the long-rumored names behind the scenes are all still attached to the project. That means that ‘Billy Elliot’, ‘The Hours’, and ‘The Reader’ filmmaker Stephen Daldry is attached to direct and writer Winnie Holzman and composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz will reunite to work on the script. However, there’s a slim chance that originators Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth will defy gravity once again and reprise the roles that they made famous on the Great White Way. But as ‘Les Miserables’ and other movie musicals have done in the past, there’s a chance that there are cameo opportunities for the leading ladies in the film. Until we find out what those roles are, at least there’s this video of the pair recently revisiting an old classic from the show:
Unfortunately, there’s another detail that could be something bad. Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, it’s interesting to note that this date pits the witches of Oz in direct opposition of one of Disney’s currently untitled live-action fairytales. Inevitably, one of these sides will budge and change the date to avoid the competition at the box office. Normally I’d say that Universal would be the one to bow to the House of Mouse, but with a powerhouse project like this, it’s anybody’s guess at this point as to which one will actually make the move. So before we start the march of the witch hunters towards Walt Disney Pictures, let’s just all say thank goodness that a ‘Wicked’ movie is finally happening.
Are you excited to see ‘Wicked’ in a movie theater near you? Who do you think will star in the film? And is anybody else already listening to the original cast album in preparation for the premiere because this heart-warming musical has changed you for good? Sound off in the comments.
Despite being a “professional writer”, Ben likes run-on sentences far too much. Also, though he’s not a sentimental man, he still managed to fit 12 of the 19 ‘Wicked’ song titles into this article. Can you find them all? For more of his attempts at being funny and the occasional insightful thought, follow him on Twitter and Instagram.