Ozians, rejoice! Jon M. Chu will direct the film adaptation of Broadway musical ‘Wicked’

Published February 4, 2021, 2:00 PM

by John Legaspi

There seems to be hope at the end of the yellow brick road

The journey to the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical “Wicked” may seem like a long yellow brick road, but it has now found its own Glinda along the way in the form of film director Jon M. Chu.

The “Crazy Rich Asians” director confirmed on social media that he will be in charge of taking the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West to the big screen. 

“Most of my life I have felt out of place, weird, and different. I hid behind my camera because people liked to be filmed and I could disappear,” the 41-year-old filmmaker says. “But when I saw Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman’s ‘Wicked’ over 15 years ago as it was being workshopped in San Francisco I couldn’t unsee it. So to think that I have been invited to bring this timeless story to the biggest screens all around the world for people to experience with their family, best friends, and total strangers… of all walks of life, ages, shapes, and colors is like I’ve been invited to Oz by the Wizard himself.”

Talks about making a film version of the musical has been circulating since its Broadway debut in 2004. In 2012, movie giant Universal Studios announced that it will be producing the film with Stephen Daldry to direct it and Holzman to pen the screenplay, to be released in 2019. But in February 2019, the studio announced a new release date, which is on Dec. 22, 2021.

After scheduling problems and pandemic issues, the studio put the film on hold and gave its 2021 release date to its other film, “Sing 2.” Last October, it was announced that Daldry is stepping down as director of the adaptation. If you want some good news here apart from Chu’s appointment, it is reported that two new songs will be made for the musical feature.

“Wicked” is a musical adaptation of the 1995 novel of Gregory Maguire. It retells the story of the L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” through the eyes of its antagonist, the Wicked Witch. Exploring the time before Dorothy and Toto make their appearance in Oz, the musical brings the tale of two young ladies—Elphaba the green-skinned and smart, and Glinda the beautiful and popular—and their unlikely friendship before one was dubbed as the “good” and the other the “wicked.”

 
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