The Wicked movie is finally moving forward.
The stage adaption of Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel has become a Broadway mainstay in the past few decades. Not only has the Broadway production made $1 billion at the box office in 2016, but it was also nominated for 10 Tony awards, won 3 honors, and has successfully performed across the globe. But, it looks like the story originally created for the stage is finally moving to the big screen.
Universal recently announced the new release date for an upcoming film adaption of Wicked. Universal says that the movie has moved from its 2019 date to December 22, 2021. The film has yet to be cast, but Universal has shared that Stephen Daldry will direct the project. In addition, Screenwriter Winnie Holsman and composer Stephen Schwarz are adapting the musical into a film version.
Is this the return of the movie musical? Hugh Jackman’s The Greatest Showman was a hit at the box office in 2017 and Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins was also well-received. Now, Wicked is on its way to movie theaters along with Cats and West Side Story.
Cats is scheduled to premiere in December of this year with a star-studded cast including Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson and James Corden. Meanwhile, West Side Story will be directed by Steven Spielberg and star Ansel Elgort. There’s currently no release date for that film, but production is set to start this summer.
Perhaps this screened musical revival has tv live specials to thank. Thanks to programs like Grease Live, The Wiz Live, and Rent (Almost) Live, Hollywood executives have seen that there’s money in tv and movie musicals. Though, that ultimately didn’t help Hair Live which was cancelled a few days ago. But in that case, the original stage production, which included nudity, would have been difficult to produce for mainstream audiences.
We’ll see how this movie/tv musical revival fairs in the next few years with musical juggernauts like West Side Story and Wicked on standby.