The film adaptation of Stephen Schwartz's 2003 blockbuster musical Wicked is coming December 20th, 2019, The Hollywood Reporter reports.
Schwartz and the show's writer, Winnie Holzman will both work on the adaptation, which will be directed by Stephen Daldry (JJ Abrams, Rob Marshall and Ryan Murphy were once considered contenders). Daldry is best known for directing the Tony-winning musical Billy Elliot, as well as film adaptations of The Hours, The Reader and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Wicked is based on the book of the same name by Gregory Maguire, which imagines the adolescence of the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz, as well as her early friendship with Glinda the Good Witch. Maguire sold the film rights to the novel to Universal in 1998, but Schwartz convinced the studio to produce his musical adaptation first.
the broadway show has made more money than any universal film
The original Broadway production starred Idina Menzel (currently of Frozen fame) and Kristin Chenoweth, effectively launching both of their careers. In its 13-year run, the show has raked in over $3 billion — far more than any Universal film has ever made. It's been 12 years since plans for the film adaptation were first announced, and some speculate that Universal has been in no real hurry to cut into its Broadway profits by selling much cheaper movie tickets. In March of 2014, Schwartz told Vulture, "We're starting to do some work on it. We've actually started gearing up on it a little bit."
At this point, both of the show's original stars are too old to play college students, though Chenoweth has expressed interest in the part of Madame Morrible, the terrifying headmistress of the school that the two leads attend.
Who knows how the film will turn out — Wicked has been commercially popular but isn't well-respected critically — but it seems a sure bet that it will make a ton of money. We'll find out four Christmases from now.