Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Film Version Of Wicked In The Works

Film Version Of Wicked In The Works

At long last comes news that Universal Pictures, which serves as a producer for the worldwide megahit stage musical Wicked, has plans to bring the backstory of Elphaba and Glinda to the big screen.

According to Variety, the movie version of Wicked won't happen anytime soon since the global phenomenon is still riding a wave of popularity that has not yet begun to crest. Already, the tuner has taken in over $1 billion around the world via its eight productions on four continents (and in three languages).

Variety reports that while producer Marc Platt is in "early" discussions with Universal, Wicked's librettist Winnie Holtzman will write the screenplay.

Variety quotes Universal's production president Donna Langley:
Our goal now is absolutely to make the Wicked film, but much like Judy Craymer wouldn't give up screen rights to Mamma Mia! until the stage show had reached its pinnacle, Marc and Stephen Schwartz are very mindful of the right timing. But we're dying to do it.
Meanwhile, Platt remains a very busy man. He's not only producing the upcoming Broadway revival of Pal Joey, but he's also helping shepherd three other movie musicals, including the upcoming Rob Marshall-helmed Nine (filming begins this fall in London), a big-screen remake of Jesus Christ Superstar and a biopic of George Gershwin.

I'll report on any further developments on Wicked's silver screen incarnation as they become available. Perhaps we can finally start prognosticating on who would comprise our dream cast. Anyone?

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Related Stories:
One Short Day, In Universal's Emerald City (June 27, 2007)
Wicked To Finally Land In Oz During 2008 (May 26, 2007)
Wicked World (March 19, 2007)
Hollywood Becomes Wicked (February 21, 2007)
Five Times More Wicked (July 17, 2006)

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At 16 July, 2008, Blogger Alicia said...

Unlike other recent stage to screen adaptations, I think this will translate very well. And I think the magic of film will lend to an already wonderful score/story.

Can't wait to hear about casting... I think the OBC could pull it off, since it isn't age restictvie. :)

At 16 July, 2008, Blogger SarahB said...

OMG Meryl Streep as Galinda!

At 16 July, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Alicia, I think the built-in audience is enormous, including the hundreds of millions who grew up with "The Wizard of Oz."

But as youthful looking as the original Broadway cast still looks (even with a couple of them hitting 40 last year and this year), by the time they get around to filming, they may just be a little too long in the tooth.

At 16 July, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Sarah, You crack me up! How about Marian for Elphaba?!

At 16 July, 2008, OpenID crossoverman said...

Well, Kristen Chenoweth is still short enough to be mistaken for a school girl... and Idina did a good impression of someone in their early 20s in the film version of Rent (okay, they all looked old - but it was great to have most of the OBC in the film).

Casting for this is going to be a big deal and I think OBC actors should be considered first - and I'd prefer Broadway actors in any case, because these songs need to be heard with proper singers. Unlike Sweeney Todd which had, um, mostly mediocre singers in the film version.

Maybe they could mix and match Elphaba and Glinda from all the current worldwide productions?

At 16 July, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Don't get me wrong, Crossoverman. Personally, I prefer to see actors who originated roles move to the big screen. The unfortunate thing is that most studios want bankable marquee names, especially for such high profile projects.

I would much rather have seen Harvey Fierstein in the film version of "Hairspray." And just think of all the countless roles that Ethel Merman missed out on, including Mama Rose in the film version of "Gypsy."

First and foremost, let's hope they can attract exceptional actors who are able to sing just as well.

At 17 July, 2008, Blogger Esther said...

Well, I agree that it would be great to see the original Broadway cast. I love the CD and I can't imagine anyone singing those songs any better.

Like Steve says, though, they're going to go with marquee names. It'll probably be the latest teen sensation. Since I think the movie is still a few years away, Elphaba and Galinda are probably in high school right now, or maybe college.

Anyway, in a mixture of stage and screen:

I'd love to see Mandy Gonzalez from "In the Heights" as Elphaba and Amy Adams as Galinda (although I don't even know if they're close in age and they'd probably be too old).

For Fiyero, I was thinking about Daniel Breaker. But it'll probably go to someone like Zac Efron or Shia LaBouef.

For the wizard, in a nod to a marquee name, Steve Carrell. Although I'd love to see Harvey Fierstein or John Cullum.

Madame Morrible: Rondi Reed, of course! Or Audra McDonald, because she can do anything! Or Cate Blanchett.

At 17 July, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Esther, Great selections among your dream cast. And why is it that I sense you may very well have it nailed in reality on the part of a Zac Ephron being tapped for Fiyero?!

At 17 July, 2008, Blogger SarahB said...

SOB, I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time Marian said, "I feel wicked."

At 17 July, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

LOL, Sarah! You know, I could see Bernadette Peters as Madame Morrible. I'm just sayin'...

At 18 July, 2008, OpenID crossoverman said...

I've been discussing this elsewhere and think they could get away with stunt casting for the Wizard, Morrible, Nessarose or Boq - but if the film is going to work, you need strong singers for Glina, Elphaba and Fiyero.

Your suggestion of Bernadette Peters for Morrible is brilliant!

Actually, casting for Melbourne is interesting - since the actors in the roles of Fiyero and Boq are both best known for being on Australian Idol. Thankfully Rob Mills has proven himself more than capable as Fiyero; and the role of Boq is so small that Anthony Callea's limited range doesn't harm the show.

At 18 July, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Crossoverman, I think the best Fiyero I've seen to date has been Australia's own Adam Garcia in the London mounting. He oozed charm and that bon vivant spirit, had a great voice and danced extraordinarily well.

I agree that they'll need very strong singers for Elphaba and Glinda. The vocal range needed for both is staggering.

At 27 November, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UGH. This is what I hate about Hollywood. If they put some snot-nosed upstart like Miley Cyrus or Vanessa Hudgens into the movie I would just GAG.


At 14 June, 2009, Anonymous Krissi said...

When I first found out about Wicked, was from years ago by my then singing teacher, I ended up buying the music for it, which included lovely pictures of the show.

However, now that I've been reading more about Wicked, I've found out that it's the Original Broadway cast featured in my book, and that the first to leave were Kristin, as well as a few of the supporting roles, after only 9 months!

So, while they may not be the right age for the role of those characters when a film gets round to being made, I guess I've got those actors/singers ingrained into Wicked so much, since I have the original soundtrack they recorded as well as seeing them in the few photos featured in my book.

At 30 December, 2009, Anonymous Sean Yates said...

I have been thinking about this a lot .. I would love to see...

The Marquee names will sell the Production and remember ladies and gentlemen its about the Production as Wicked-THe Original MOtion Picture Adapted from THe Book and Hit Broadway Musical.

In my opinion they should take Parts of both and blend them together.
My Cast for the Film
Elphaba-Beyonce Knowles
Galinda-Anne Hathaway
Fiyero-Jake Gyllenhall
Wizard-Billy Crystal
Madam Morrible-Bernadette Peters
Nessarose-Diana Degarmo
Boq-Joe Perrino

let me know what u think


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