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A 'Wicked' Movie Is Coming To Theaters In 2021 And People Are Pumped

Amy Pilkington 9 Feb 2019

These days an awful lot of Broadway musicals are based off of movies. There are the ongoing Disney adaptations, for better (The Lion King, Beauty And The Beast) or worse (Looking at you, The Little Mermaid).

Plus there are those based on live action movies like Legally Blonde, Waitress, and The Band's Visit.

It's getting rarer and rarer to see the opposite happen, with a Broadway show leaping to the big screen. No wonder people are so excited about this Wicked news.

At the risk of sounding like a total hipster, I liked it before it was cool.

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I read the book by Gregory Maguire not long after it came out and, admittedly, before I was old enough to understand all of it. But I still adored it and my appreciation has grown with time.

Still, when a musical adaptation was announced, I was skeptical.

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Not that an origin story for the Wicked Witch is a bad musical idea.

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In fact, it's awesome, but the book would need a serious overhaul to be simplified down to a two-and-a-half hour musical format.

But I went in with an open mind and even though huge parts were changed, I fell in love with the musical too.

I've seen it on stage twice, once on Broadway and once in Toronto.

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The show was a hit, too, which immediately led to people clamouring for a movie version.

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Broadway shows can't become movies overnight, though. Besides the sheer cost involved, most productions prefer to get as much money out of the stage show as they can before releasing a movie to the masses.

Usually, this means that it won't happen until long after international touring companies have been established.

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The Broadway show debuted in 2003, which means as of this writing, it's been more than 15 years of waiting.

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Needless to say, when news dropped this week that Universal Pictures had set a December 2021 release date, theater nerds (myself included) found it completely "thrillifying!"

Stephen Daldry was announced to direct, which is awesome. Not only is he an Oscar-winning director, but he's also worked in Broadway.

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Now, the date is official, but that doesn't mean it won't move.

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Movie release dates get shuffled all the time, and this isn't the first release date Wicked has had.

In fact, it was supposed to originally come out in December 2019, but Universal Pictures decided to release the movie version of Cats instead. Which...sigh.

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No cast has been rumored yet, either, but I doubt it'll be the original.

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Look, I love Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth, but it's been 15 years and one of the the amazing things about Broadway is how casts can change while the core of the characters stays the same.

A couple of cameos would be awesome, though!

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The movie will be adapted by the same people who originally turned the book into the show.

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Winnie Holzman, who wrote the book for Broadway, and songwriter Stephen Schwartz will be working together on the screenplay, and it's already been announced that the movie will feature two new songs.

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Which, on one hand, yay! But on the other hand, why?

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Most movie adaptations of musicals do this, and it's great if the songs are good, but I always worry about what old favorites will have to be axed to fit the new ones in.

Still, you can bet I'm ready to get "festivating" on premiere night!

h/t: Variety

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