Release date set for Wicked movie to fly onto big screen

Idina Menzel as Elphaba in 2004 (Reuters file)
Idina Menzel as Elphaba in 2004 (Reuters file)

Fans of the Broadway musical Wicked can finally rejoicify -- a date has been set for the release of the feature film adaptation.

Universal Pictures has announced the film, which has been in the works for years, will be released on December 20, 2019.

Wicked is the backstory to The Wizard of Oz, following Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and her unlikely friendship with Glinda, the Good Witch of the South.

It is based on the Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.

The film will be directed by Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours) and produced by Marc Platt (Into the Woods, Legally Blonde).

Both Daldry and Platt produce the stage show, which has been running on Broadway since October 2003 as well as around the world -- including a stint in Auckland in 2013.

No casting announcements have been made. Elphaba was originally played on Broadway by Idina Menzel (now better-known as the voice of Queen Elsa in Frozen), with Kristin Chenoweth playing Glinda.

Menzel, 45, has previously said she "would die" to be in the movie, but feared she would be too old to play university-aged Elphaba by the time the film was made.

Wicked won three Tony Awards and is the 11th longest-running Broadway show in history.


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