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The Wicked Movie Has Hit A Setback On Its Way To Defy Gravity

Jackie Burns as Elphaba in the official Broadway production of Wicked
(Image credit: The Araca Group)

News of a Wicked movie has been circulating since the Broadway took home some coveted Tony Awards in 2004. After a myriad of hurdles to jump, including a rotating cast of directors, producers, and rumored leads (sorry, kids, Ariana Grande seemingly isn’t actually playing Elphaba), the Wicked movie was supposed to begin filming next year. Now, yet another setback has plagued the world of Oz. 

The Wicked movie was finally meant to enter production in March of 2022. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait just a little longer to see the adventures of Elphaba and Glinda on the big screen. According to The Hollywood Reporter, filming for Wicked has been rescheduled for June and will take place in the United Kingdom, not the United States. Apparently, the delay will allow production company Universal to fully prepare their newly built Sky Studios in the English town of Elstree. 

Tony and Olivier award winner Stephen Daldry was in the running to direct for many years, but dropped out due to conflicts both creative and logistical. John M. Chu is now attached to direct after his vibrant film version of In the Heights proved to be a bright spot in a sea of lackluster musical adaptations. While Universal struck gold with Les Miserables and Mamma Mia!, recent box office bombs like Dear Evan Hansen and the infamous Cats have marred their musical track record. The company is seemingly hoping to rediscover their success with Wicked. While the film hasn’t actually been greenlit, Universal is considering the project a ‘priority’. 

Casting for the Wicked film has not been released, although that hasn’t stopped the Internet from indulging in some wild speculation. Famous names like Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!, Les Miserables) and Dove Cameron (Descendants, Schmigadoon!) have been thrown out for Glinda the Good Witch, while social media favorites for Wicked Witch of the West Elphaba have included Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect, Into the Woods) and even pop star and The Voice coach Ariana Grande. Some die-hard fans are still hoping to see original Broadway stars Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth reprise their roles, but it looks more likely that the studio will choose some fresh faces. 

Based on the eponymous novel by Gregory Maguire, the musical Wicked tells the story of Elphaba, a young sorcery student who will one day transform into the infamous Wicked Witch of the West. Along the way, she becomes friends with Galinda, a bubbly beauty queen (bubble pun fully intended) who becomes the Good Witch of the North. The show features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin) and a book by Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life). 

For more updates on all things Wicked, be sure to check back here on CinemaBlend. In the meantime, you check out our upcoming movie releases.

Rachel Romean

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.