Universal has finally landed on a release date for the long-brewing adaptation of the hugely popular book and Broadway musical, Wicked, which follows the Witches of Oz before Dorothy blew into town. The studio is giving the potential blockbuster a fitting place at the peak of holiday box office on December 20, 2019. It’s a release date that makes sense considering the family-friendly spectacle of the story, however, it also pits Wicked in direct competition with one of Disney’s yet-to-be-revealed live-action fairy tale films so we could be in for a bit of a box office battle royale.
Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) has been attached to direct Wicked since 2012 with Marc Platt (Into the Woods), who also produced the Broadway show, on board as producer. Writer Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life) and acclaimed composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell), who collaborated on the Broadway show, are reuniting to pen the screenplay for the film adaptation.
Wicked is basically the Inception of Adaptations. Based on the very very popular Broadway musical, which is based on Gregory Maguire‘s best-selling novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’, which is a re-telling of the classic 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, which is an adaptation of Frank Baum‘s 1900 story of the same name. The story follows the young witches Elpheba and Glinda in their youth as they go from rivals to best friends and back again amidst the magic and splendor of Oz.
On Broadway, Wicked has been a tremendous success. The musical took home three Tony Awards when it debuted in 2004, including Best Musical Actress for Idina Menzel (which pitted her against co-star Kristin Chenoweth), who originated the role of Elpheba. Now in its 13th year, the show has surpassed Rent to become the 10th longest-running musical of all time, earning more than $1 Billion at the Broadway Box Office.