Idina Menzel in Wicked

Musicals are simply ingrained in the fabric of Hollywood. In recent years, film adaptations of Broadway musicals have maintained their place in the public conscience. The latest Broadway adaptation may upset fans who are eagerly waiting for a sequel to Crazy Rich Asians. Namely because director Jon M. Chu has been tapped to helm the much-delayed film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Wicked.

According to Deadline, Jon M. Chu reportedly will direct Universal’s feature adaptation of the iconic Broadway musical Wicked. Currently, the film’s script is being crafted by the record-breaking musical’s book writer Winnie Holzman and composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz. The Broadway musical’s original producer Marc Platt will produce the project through his production company. Universal Senior EVP Erik Baiers and director of development Lexi Barta will oversee the film’s production. At this time, there has been no casting news, production start or release date have been announced. But Chu’s announcement means the cast and crew announcements should be coming in the next few months.

The announcement of Jon M. Chu directing the film adaptation of Wicked comes after the project hit a few road bumps. The film suffered a major setback after original director Stephen Daldry left the project over its development and filming schedule. The location change may have played a role in Daldry’s departure as the film may be filmed in the United States rather than the United Kingdom. Before Daldry’s departure, the film had spent over a decade in development as it was originally scheduled to arrive in Dec. 2019.

Unfortunately, production issues caused Wicked to be bumped off the schedule for Cats. And we all know how that turned out. But Wicked fans aren’t the only ones frustrated by the constant delays as original star Kristin Chenoweth said her piece on the matter. After all, some fans still want Chenoweth and Idina Menzel to appear in the film adaptation in some capacity.

While the Wicked film adaptation is pushing forward, Broadway aficionados will have to wait a bit longer as theatres try to figure out how to re-open and adapt to COVID-19 guidelines and protocols. Before the show was forced to close, it was still in high demand as audiences  flocked to see it. Even as Broadway continues to remain shuttered, the record-breaking musical is entering its 17th year on the Great White Way as the second highest-grossing musical in history.

Wicked won’t be Jon M. Chu’s first time tackling a Broadway-to-screen adaptation. He helmed a film adaptation of the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In the Heights. Like any Warner Bros. productions, the film will premiere in theaters and on HBO Max on June 18. Hearing Chu’s addition to the much-delayed adaptation is a good sign that Wicked is moving forward in the right direction.

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