Wicked director Jon M. Chu has some encouraging news for Wicked fans. According to the celebrated filmmaker, the first part of the fantasy classic’s film adaptation will release on time despite the ongoing Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strike. Commenting about the film’s status on Twitter, Chu said Wicked: Part One production was days away from completion before the strike halted activity. Chu is confident the movie will resume as soon as better working conditions for writers and actors in the film industry take shape. Wicked: Part One isn’t flying into cinemas until late 2024, giving the team ample time to finish the highly-anticipated project.
“Not done yet,” Chu tweeted. “Just paused until the strike is over and we can finish the last pieces of the movie. We were only a few days away from being done so we were SO close. It’s been very painful to put a halt to it all but we will be back! And we will finish properly strong when the time is right. My heart goes out to our cast and crew who were cut short of what we came here to complete together. More to come but in the meantime I’m excited to excavate what we have shot for the past year here in Oz (release date shouldn’t be affected) . It has been an extraordinary adventure… more to do. #WickedMovie“
Not done yet. Just paused until the strike is over and we can finish the last pieces of the movie. We were only a few days away from being done so we were SO close. It’s been very painful to put a halt to it all but we will be back! And we will finish properly strong when the…— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) July 19, 2023
Universal has been working on a Wicked film adaptation since 2004. Stephen Daldry was initially attached to direct but left the project due to scheduling conflicts. The movie’s original release was December 22, 2021, but fate threw a bucket of water on that plan. In addition to Covid casting a production hex, Chu went back and forth about dividing the story into two captivating presentations.
The three-time Tony Award-winning stage musical was adapted from Gregory Maguire’s bestselling novel by writer Winnie Holzman and composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz, who collaborated on the adaptation of the screenplay. The story explains how a green-skinned woman framed by the Wizard of Oz becomes the Wicked Witch of the West. Maguire’s yarn is the ultimate fairy tale origin story and could have you rooting for the villain by the time it’s all over.
While Chu intends to honor the source material, he plans to bring more depth to the characters during the two-film production. Cynthia Erivo will star as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, with Ariana Grande playing Glinda, the Good Witch. Michelle Yeoh plays Madame Morrible, the headmistress of Crage Hall at Shiz University, an institution of higher education in Shiz located in Gillikin, the northern province of Oz. Jeff Goldblum plays The Wizard of Oz, with Jonathan Bailey playing Fiyero, Adam James as Glinda’s Father, Keala Settle as Miss Coddle, Bowen Yang as Pfannee, Bronwyn James as ShenShen, Ethan Slater as Boq, and Colin Michael Carmichael as Nikidik.
Do you think the Wicked: Part One production halt will delay the film’s release despite Chu’s confidence?
Wicked: Part One casts a spell in cinemas on November 27, 2024.