Just as the wave of broadway’s newest runaway success begins to crest, another beloved musical from years back is stepping into the spotlight once again.
Wicked, the dynamic retelling of L. Frank Baum‘s certified-classic children’s story from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West, has officially been given a release date for its film adaptation: December 20th, 2019. We’ll give you a second to put that in your calendar app.
In the director’s chair will be Stephen Daldry, a Tony-winning director who has already shown off his adaptation chops in The Hours, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and The Reader. Unfortunately, no announcement has been made about who will play the oil-and-water roles of Glinda the Good and Elphaba. You may continue to violently speculate in the comments.
Although many of us have been so swept away by the foot-tapping whimsy of the musical, Wicked was indeed a book first. Gregory Maguire wrote the first of four Wicked Years books back in 1995, aka the last century. Maguire began to make his name reframing fairy tales in a dark-yet-grounded world that has as much magic as does political and social strife. Subsequent books like Son of a Witch and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister were also adapted into plays and movies, respectively.
The (presumptive) release of this movie also marks the completion of a long journey for Maguire’s, the musical’s, and even Baum’s, work. Wicked initially premieredd in 1998, aka also the last century. The stage show did not even reach Broadway until nearly five years later, in 2003. Now, right when the musical hits the landmark age of 21, this endearingly tragic transformation of a quaint bedtime read will finally be told onscreen.
Featured image courtesy of Matt Crockett