Per News Reelz:
In a bit of a surprising move, Universal Pictures has decided to split their adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Wicked into two films. Director Jon M. Chu made the announcement today on social media.
Wicked will first open on Wednesday, December 25, 2024, while part two will be released a year later on Thursday, December 25, 2025. Here is Chu’s statement as to why this decision was made: “As we prepared the production over the last year, it became impossible to wrestle the story of ‘Wicked’ into a single film without doing some real damage to it. As we tried to cut songs or trim characters, those decisions began to feel like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years. We decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and make not just one ‘Wicked’ movie but two! With more space, we can tell the story of ‘Wicked’ as it was meant to be told while bringing even more depth and surprise to the journeys for these beloved characters.”
Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo are set to star in the lead roles of Glinda and Elphaba, respectively. Wicked serves as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz and tells the story of everything leading up to Dorothy’s arrival in Oz.
Stephen Schwartz, who penned the music and lyrics to the original Broadway show, is adapting the Wicked screenplay with Winnie Holzman. The musical opened on Broadway in 2003 and continues to run. The show has earned over $1 billion on Broadway and is second only to The Lion King as the highest grossing Broadway musical of all time.
This is a bold move because musicals have been a tough sell at the box office recently but maybe Wicked can buck that trend. Do you think this was a wise choice? Sound off!