Movie version of musical Wicked aiming for a possible 2016 release

With high profile Broadway musicals like LES MISERABLES and INTO THE WOODS getting made into feature films, fans of the hit WICKED are still waiting for their WIZARD OF OZ-inspired stage show to make the jump to the silver screen. Despite still being a big draw on stages around the world, development on the movie has been simmering since the show debuted 12 years ago. So, when some sites reported that producers were aiming for a 2016 release for WICKED, verification was needed.

Film Divider took the question right to the producers of WICKED to learn for certain if that 2016 date was legitimate. Producer Mark Platt said it was a goal but not set in stone. He did confirm that Winnie Holzman, who wrote the musical's book, is working on a draft of the screenplay and Stephen Daldry, director of THE HOURS and BILLY ELLIOT, is still involved.

He’s been on for a year or two. But it’s in process. 2016 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.

Platt cites the multiple decades between musicals like CHICAGO, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, LES MISERABLES, and INTO THE WOODS making it to the big screen. More recent stage shows like ROCK OF AGES and MAMMA MIA have made it in much shorter time, but compare the quality of the finished results. As long as WICKED is still drawing crowds on stage, there likely will not be any urgency to get this done without ensuring everything is just right.

There have been a glut of WIZARD OF OZ inspired projects in recent years. After Sam Raimi's prequel for Disney was a success at the box office, I expected more to capitalize on it, so don't completely rule out 2016 just yet. Stage star Idina Menzel may still be able to ride her FROZEN popularity to reprise her role if they film within the next couple of years.

Source: Film Divider



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