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Universal's Wicked to conjure some holiday magic with Christmas 2021 release

Universal has announced that their feature adaptation of the Broadway powerhouse WICKED will arrive in theaters on Wednesday Dec. 22, 2021. Based on the three-time Tony Award-winning musical, which had been adapted from the ficticious Wizard of Oz tell-all novel penned by Gregory Maguire, WICKED chronicles the life and times of Elphaba, the misunderstood green-skinned girl who grows up to become the notorious Wicked Witch of the West. Taking place in the years leading to Dorothy's arrival, McGuire's Wicked provides readers with a political, social, and ethical commentary on the nature of good and evil while also exploring the Land of Oz. Author Winnie Holzman adapted McGuire's novel for the fan-favorite Broadway musical, which includes music arranged by Godspell and Pippin maestro Stephen Schwartz.

Stephen Daldry (THE HOURS, BILLY ELLIOT) will direct the fantasy feature for Universal, which has Marc Platt (LA LA LAND, DRIVE) looking to produce. Earlier in the film's development, Universal had chosen a release date of December 20, 2019 for Oz's witchy woman to make her return to the silver screen, however, Tom Hooper's CATS is now set to occupy that space, which has Idris Elba, Rebel Wilson, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, James Corden, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, and many more set to star.

In looking at 2021's holiday schedule, WICKED will have some intense competition what with James Cameron's AVATAR 3 arriving that weekend as well. I suppose the question now is: Will an AVATAR sequel have what it takes to upstage WICKED's green-skinned gal of glorious prestidigitation, or will Elphaba drop a house on Cameron's eco-conscious cats? Only your dollars can decide who wins the four-day holiday weekend.

Universal's WICKED is set to cast a spell in theaters on Wednesday Dec. 22, 2021.

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