It's no secret that Wicked (the smash hit musical based on the best selling novel by Gregory McGuire) is one of Broadway's most successful musicals to date, and now it appears that we are even closer to seeing the backstory of Oz's beloved characters grace the silver screen. For those who are not familiar with Wicked, the musical follows the characters of a green girl named Elphaba, her beautiful blonde frenemy Galinda, and how they overcome their differences, become friends, and transform into The Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.
With news that producer Marc Platt has come on board with the project it seems that the wheels are being set in motion for a release sometime in the next two years. Platt, who most recently worked on the hugely successful and Oscar nominated adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, states that the team is eyeing a 2016 release:
"A 2016 release date is the goal, but I don’t know whether we’ll make that goal or not. We will make the movie, but like I said, the bar is really high. We’re going to scrutinise our work on the screenplay and our prep on the movie, and when we feel like it’s ready, okay. We’re not going to shoot a release date is what I’m saying. It’s in the works, it’s not in a rush. It took 27 years to make Into the Woods into a film from its original stage production, and 30 years with Les Mis. Some things take time for a reason.” - Marc Platt interview with Screen Rant
Considering the success of recent movie musicals Wicked, if done right, could turn a huge profit for Universal Studios, who is working with the original creative team of the musical to bring it from stage to screen. Knowing that the process is not being rushed by a set in stone release date will definitely help to ease the fears of diehard fans of the show who are afraid of an unfaithful star studded adaptation. One thing fans of the show can count on for sure though is that original stars Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth will not be reprising their roles in the film, with Idina stating in an interview last year that they were told they are too old to play the lead witches again. That doesn't seem to dissuade Chenoweth from still throwing her hat in the ring for a part in the film though, having recently stated she has her eye on a different character from the tale this time around:
"I mean of course i'd love to be involved - it is a huge part of my life. I don't know who I'd play - I'd be interested in Madame Morrible at this point." - Kristin Chenoweth from Reddit AMA Session
I for one am very excited that production on the film is starting to pick up, and I'm equally as excited that the team behind it seem to be doing it the right way...slowly! I can easily see a rushed version of the film being put together and being a box office hit. However, if the creative team takes their time and work out every little crease as promised, thenI'm sure we will end up with a stunning and faithful adaptation of the show that millions of people around the world have come to love. If the stars align Wicked the Movie could easily become the highest grossing movie musical of all time. I wouldn't mind seeing Chenoweth tackle the menacing Madame Morrible either, but with no casting news on the horizon it's anyones game!