Wicked, the film adaptation of the hit Broadway show that looks at how The Wizard Of Oz‘s Wicked Witch of the West wound up that way is now going to be two movies.
Director Jon M Chu made the announcement that the project was being split into two parts on twitter this morning, see below. The reasoning on this is that the production team determined that to trim the original musical down to a manageable feature-length film running time would be injurious to the project. The two parts will release in December of 2024 and 2025 respectfully.
The movie is set to star Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande.
Although a hugely successful hit on Broadway, getting the musical from stage to the big screen has been proving somewhat of a challenge. Universal first announced plans for a film version of Wicked in July 2008. The studio was a backer of the Broadway show, so ultimately turning it into a movie was probably the plan all along. Not much further was heard about the project for two years, until a report surfaced that the studio was considering the likes of JJ Abrams, James Mangold, Ryan Murphy and Rob Marshall for the director’s chair. Ultimately, the job went to Daldry in 2012. But even with a director attached to the project, release dates were announced and moved and then moved again as the studio tried to get the project in front of cameras. Daldry ultimately dropped out, to be replaced by Chu in February 2021.
While I can respect the movie from an artistic integrity standpoint, I am a little surprised by it. While it seems as if there has been an effort in the last year or two to revive the movie musical as a genre, it has not led to spectacular results. Even musicals that have done will with critics such as Steven Spielberg’s new version of West Side Story failed to set the box office on fire. Universal is certainly taking a chance with this move.
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) April 26, 2022