Universal Greenlights ‘Wicked’ Film for 2019

By June 16, 2016

Broadway smash hit Hamilton may not be coming to the big screen any time soon, but another beloved musical is finally bound for Hollywood. Earlier today, Universal Pictures confirmed that a long-gestation adaptation of Wicked has finally been greenlit, and is scheduled for release on December 20, 2019.

Based on the Tony Award-winning stage production – which launched the careers of Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenowit – Wicked was adapted from Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by book writer Winnie Holzman and three-time Oscar-winning composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz. Fans should be pleased to hear that this same duo will reunite to bring the film version to life.

Wicked will be directed by Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close) who has been attached to the project for the past few years, with Marc Platt and Universal producing – which makes sense, considering they both produce the stage version, as well.

While Universal has enjoyed some impressive box office numbers over the years, Wicked has long been the studio’s most profitable endeavor – the Broadway production alone has grossed more than $1 billion since its premiere in 2003, and when you include international and touring productions, that number skyrockets to more than $3 billion – and still climbing.

I’m always leery of musicals being turned into film productions – for every Into the Woods or Les Miserables, there’s also a Rock of Ages (which I didn’t hate, but it pales in comparison to the stage version). However, with the same team who crafted the stage show and a well-established director, Wicked has all the ingredients to become another success story, so I’m crossing my fingers that Universal will get it right.

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Brent Hankins

Brent Hankins

Contributing Writer at GeekNation
Brent Hankins is a member of the Phoenix Critics Circle and co-host of the Drinks and Discourse podcast. He's also the proud owner of an Italian Greyhound named Sullivan. He's adorable (the dog, not the author).