BY Samantha O’Donnell
Something good is happening in Oz.
The Tony Award winning smash musical, “Wicked”, has been picked up as a major motion picture. The movie is set to come into theaters on Dec. 22, 2021.
“This has to be better than those live musicals on TV,” said freshman Sarah Lindskog, who was referring to the recent live musicals that such as “Rent: Live on FOX and “Hairspray Live” on NBC.
The movie musical will be directed by Stephen Daldry, director of the movie “Billy Elliot,” and produced by Marc Platt, who produced many well-known movies, including “Legally Blonde,” and “The Other Woman.”
Stephen Schwartz, the original Broadway composer and lyricist, and Winnie Holzman, who wrote the original book for the staged adaption, are writing the screenplay for the movie.
Wicked tells the untold story of the witches of Oz, before Dorothy, from the “Wizard of Oz,” dropped in.
The audience follows the popular and beloved Glinda the Good Witch (originally Galinda, “with a Ga!”) and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West as they arrive at Shiz University. They are forced to be roommates and, and eventually become friends.
Wicked opened on Broadway in 2003, and quickly became a worldwide phenomenon.
“I fell in love with the storyline when I was twelve,” said sophomore Justyna Jablonska. “When I finally saw it live, I was blown away.”
The musical went on a North American tour, known as the “Emerald City Tour,” and opened on the West End in London in 2006, toured the United Kingdom and Ireland beginning in 2013. It also went on an international tour beginning in 2016.
Fans are excited to see their favorite musical on the big screen, but some are worried that the film will “stunt cast,” the movie to get non-theatre fans to go see it.
“Stunt casting” is when a production casts a very famous actor or celebrity in a movie, TV show, or even a Broadway show to gain publicity.
Ariana Grande has been tied to Wicked many times. She performed one of Elphabas solos, “The Wizard and I” for the Wicked 15th Anniversary concert and has been rumored to join the Broadway cast many times.
“I wouldn’t be happy if Ariana Grande was cast in the movie, but I feel like they might ask her,” said Lindskog. “They would want her because of her fame and the publicity she would bring.”
Although the show is adored by many, some fans are skeptical about it transitioning to the big screen.
“They cannot cut scenes out or change things like they did with the new ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ movie,” said Lindskog.
Fans of the musical already have an idea of who they want to play the two leading roles.
“Lea Michele would make an amazing Elphaba,” said Cavalieri.
They also feel it is important to maintain the Broadway origins as the go to the big screen.
“When they make the move from stage to screen, they can’t lose the stage roots,” said sophomore Isabel Cavalieri. “Broadway has to be incorporated.”