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‘Wicked’ finally coming to the big screen in 2019

“Wicked”
Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, left, and Idina Menzel as Elphaba in the Broadway hit “Wicked.”
(Ari Mintz / Newsday)

Anyone wondering about how Hollywood treats beloved, successful stage musicals and the time it takes to transform them into big-screen adaptations – here’s looking at you, “Hamilton” fans – may want to consider “Wicked.”

The show, a three-time Tony winner that tells the story of Oz before the arrival of Dorothy, premiered on Broadway in 2003. On Thursday, Universal Pictures announced a release date for the movie of Dec. 20, 2019.

The adaptation will be directed by Stephen Daldry, a three-time Oscar nominee. Adapted from the novel by Gregory Maguire, the stage musical had a book by Winnie Holzman and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Holzman and Schwartz are also collaborating on the screenplay adaptation.

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The press release announcing the film version’s release date made no mention of casting. Stage stars Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth – both of whom were nominated for the Tony for lead actress from the show, with Menzel winning the award – have gone on to great success in the years since appearing in the stage production. If they don’t reprise their roles, those are big, bejeweled slippers to fill.

As well, while movies have recently been providing fodder for popular stage musicals such as “Waitress” and “Once,” film adaptations of popular musicals such as “Jersey Boys” and “Rent” have struggled with critics and audiences alike.

ALSO:

‘Hamilton,’ the movie? Why screen adaptions of stage musicals take so, so, so long

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Mark.Olsen@latimes.com

Follow on Twitter: @IndieFocus


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