Wicked the movie is the highly anticipated Broadway to cinema musical adaptation we've been waiting an age to see, but the wait is not quite over, in fact we still have another three years to go. The smash hit musical acts as a prequel to The Wizard Of Oz, the untold story of two witches, Glinda and Elphaba. We see their stories become inter-twinned and a friendship blossom, but there is a dark secret lurking in Oz, which threatens their happiness and begs the pertinent question, is anyone actually born wicked?
We simply can't wait, the excitement is far too much to cope with. So to release some of that energy I'm going to look at what we're expecting from the movie in order for it to be, well, wicked, just like the musical.
'Don't be offended by my frank analysis, think of it as cinematic dialysis'
1. The Cast
The cast needs to be utterly spellbinding. We're expecting a lot here, due to the roles being synonymously linked to Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth, both seasoned broadway divas.
Everyone has spent the last ten years listening to their voices on the original soundtrack, so the actresses taking over these roles better have insanely good voices to set the movie soaring. Idina and Kristen even reprised their most touching duet earlier this year:
Those are some very large ruby slippers to fill. The have been no confirmed members of the cast as of yet, although there are rumors circulating that Lea Michelle might play Elphaba. It's an idea that could definitely take flight, she has the voice, stage presence, heck, she's even played Idina's daughter in Glee. Check out Lea singing Defying Gravity with Chris Colfer below:
More than anything else, the movies needs voices like this to make it as good as the musical.
2. The Special Effects
The stage show revolutionized stage design one set piece at a time, from the robotic dragon hanging over the audience to the full rotary stage. Then of course, there was Glinda's bubble sailing across the stage along with Elphaba's ascent during Defying Gravity. It truly was a feast for the eyes and it all happened live.
Cinema can go above and beyond this thanks to the magical powers of editing and CGI. We want all the pomp and splendor of the musical, but bigger. However, we don't want it to appear overdone and too 'Hollywood,' there still should be an essence of theatricality about the movie. The effects should not detract from the story and definitely not interfere with the songs.
Watch the video below to learn about the special effects on the stage show and just how magic is created:
- Fan Casting: Could These 8 Stars Be the Ones to Defy Gravity in the Upcoming Live Action 'Wicked' Movie?
- Idina's Out!? These Are The 6 Things We Know So Far About Wicked The Movie
- Greatest Musical to Film Adaptations in The Last 15 Years
3. The Costumes
I was green with envy when I saw the costumes in the musical for the first time. I fell head over heels with Glinda's sparkly pink numbers and of course her good witch gown. The Emerald City scene where the entire stage is packed full of an all singing cast clad in different shades of green is breathtaking. There is a definite stylized feel to the piece and although the era is not placeable, the fantasy theme runs throughout.
The movie already has a director in the form of Stephen Daldry of Billy Elliot fame, but it will be interesting to see who he brings in as wardrobe mistress. I would definitely suggest Colleen Atwood, who's work on Alice In Wonderland, Nine, Sweeney Todd, Chicago and Into The Woods is critically acclaimed and instantly recognizable. She has more than enough experience adapting musical costumes from the stage to the screen too:
We have no doubt the movie will be spectacular and fans of the musical will flock regardless, but the cast and crew should be aware, musical theatre fans are not a forgiving bunch, we would argue few movie adaptations have been better than their stage show. With the exception of Chicago, of course, whose movie form is, arguably, better than the stage show itself.
We'll have to wait with baited breathe to journey to Oz again, ruby slippers at the ready or if you're feeling particularly wicked, your broomstick. Hopefully, it's 'Wonderful' and we don't feel loathing, unadulterated loathing.
What are you most looking forward to seeing from the adaptation?