What is this feeling? / Fervid as a flame / Does it have a name? Yes…
Excitement: Marc Platt, one of the producers to bring Into the Woods to the big screen, recently told Film Divider that his team has begun the process to adapt the Tony-winning musical Wicked into a movie. Even better, if all goes well, we could see it as soon as 2016.
Surprise: The last we heard of a Wicked adaptation, Salma Hayek was developing a miniseries for ABC in 2011. Platt revealed that Stephen Daldry, who directed the musical Billy Elliott on both stage and screen, has been attached to the Wicked project for a year or two already. In addition, Winnie Holzman is adapting the Wicked musical book she wrote to a screenplay—not unlike James Lapine, who did the same for Into the Woods.
Trepidation: But who will they cast? Wicked won Idina Menzel a Tony for her portrayal of green-skinned witch Elphaba, and garnered similar acclaim for her castmate Kristin Chenoweth playing good witch Glinda. While many have since taken up the roles in the musical’s decade-plus on Broadway and other stages, few successors have matched the original stars. Some have suggested an animated version; in 2010, animator Heidi Gilbert drew up compelling storyboards for the showstopping number “Defying Gravity.”
Relief: Casting seems to be the last thing on Platt and Daldry’s minds, as they’re still working on getting the story right. Platt clarified that 2016 is “a loose goal,” adding,
But the bar is very high for the creators of Wicked. Our show is still so strong everywhere, and we just set a record in both London and Edinburgh last week, and in Los Angeles, and we did on Broadway. Audiences enjoy that show so much that we are intending to move forward on the movie but aren’t going to do so until we’re satisfied in the material we have as a screenplay, and that the film will be every bit as satisfying as what we have on the stage.
He also provided some context for the long journeys of other recent musical adaptations:
It took 27 years to make Into the Woods into a film from its original stage production, and 30 years with Les Mis. Some things take time for a reason.
We know that a Wicked movie is in the works, and that’s the most important part for now.