The Wicked Movie Just Hit A Major Setback

Idina Menzel in Wicked

Movie musicals are a tried and true genre in the film world. These types of flashy projects have historically become critical and box office darlings, earning Oscar attention in the process. Just look at movies like Chicago, Les Miserables, and West Side Story. The next of these big screen adaptations is Universal's highly anticipated Wicked movie, although it's already facing a major set back.

Wicked is a bonafide Broadway blockbuster, which continues to make money in productions both New York and around the world. While recently delayed, a movie adaptation is finally in the works by Universal produced by Marc Platt. And although Billy Elliot and The Crown director Stephen Daldry was attached to direct, it was recently revealed that he's departed the developing project.

This news comes to us from Deadline, and is sure to be disappointing for Wicked fans around the world. The report indicates that Universal wanted to move forward with the movie's development and filming at a pace that Stephen Daldry was uncomfortable. Additionally, the movie may no longer be filming across the pond, which was reportedly an important aspect of the gig for Daldry.

While the report indicates that Stephen Daldry's split from the Wicked movie was amicable, it's a major speed bump for the developing movie musical. If Universal is indeed trying to move forward at a fast pace, the studio will need to find a replacement who is willing to jump into the role soon. And from there said director can finally begin assembling a cast and crew for the project.

Musical theater fans have been waiting for a Wicked movie since the Tony Award winning musical opened on Broadway back in October of 2003. Prior to Broadway closing over global health issues, the show continued to make tons of money at the box office, and was showing no signs of slowing down. And now that a Wicked film adaptation is in the works, which will likely inspire more people to head to the theater once they've reopened.

With Stephen Daldry's departure there is one less name attached to Wicked, making its future cast and crew all the more mysterious. Moviegoers are eager to see what talent ends up populating Oz, especially the leading characters Glinda and Elphaba. The two roles were originated on stage by Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel respectively, and many are hoping the two actresses get cameos in the upcoming adaptation.

The story of Wicked is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. Set years before Dorothy and her house land onto the scene, we follow a young version of Glinda and the Wicked Witch as they meet in school as girls. The show's contents eventually include the origin of other beloved characters like The Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man.

The Wicked movie is being produced Marc Platt, who helped bring the original production to Broadway. Platt's film credits include projects like La La Land, Mary Poppins Returns, and The Girl on The Train. Some Broadway aficionados might be hoping that Ben Platt gets a role as Boq, but that's just fan casting at this point.

CinemaBlend will keep you updated on all things Wicked as more details become public. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.