Wicked: Jon M. Chu to helm Universal’s musical film adaptation
According to Deadline, Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu has officially signed on to helm Universal Pictures’ long-in-development film adaptation of Wicked, based on Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman’s acclaimed and popular Broadway musical of the same name. Chu will be replacing Oscar nominee Stephen Daldry (The Crown), who was forced to exit the project last year due to scheduling conflicts caused by the ongoing pandemic.
Chu is no stranger to the musical genre as he first directed the upcoming film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical In the Heights which is set to arrive in theaters and HBO Max on June 18, 2021. He is also set to direct the live-action adaptation of Disney’s Lilo & Stitch.
So much happened before Dorothy dropped in. Wicked, the feature-film adaptation of the musical phenomenon seen by more than 50 million fans around the world, arrives in theaters for the 2021 holiday season. The unforgettable characters and gravity-defying songs of the beloved hit come to the big screen as the untold story of the Witches of Oz becomes the movie event that will change audiences for good.
Prior to becoming a globally touring smash as well as one of the longest-running shows on Broadway, producer Marc Platt was originally developing Maguire’s novel for the big screen. An alternate retelling of L. Frank Baum’s classic The Wizard of Oz, Wicked follows two opposing witches–Elphaba and Glinda the Good– from their first meeting in college to Elphaba’s ultimate downfall and transformation into the Wicked Witch of the West.
The film adaptation is currently set for a December 22, 2021 release.
The Wicked movie will be brought to the screen by Platt (Into the Woods, Bridge of Spies). The three-time Tony Award-winning stage musical was adapted from Gregory Maguire’s bestselling novel, “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” by book writer Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life) and three-time Oscar-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin), who is also collaborating on the screenplay adaptation.
Wicked is produced on Broadway by Platt, Universal Stage Productions, the Araca Group, Jon B. Platt, and David Stone.
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)