Movie Reviews

Why Two-Part Wicked Movie Makes Sense, According To Original Star

Wicked‘s original star Kristin Chenoweth explains why a two-part movie adaptation makes sense for the award-winning musical. Based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, Wicked was first brought to life as a musical production in 2003. Originally starring Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda and Idina Menzel as Elphaba, Wicked explores the events leading up to and upon Dorothy’s arrival in the Land of Oz. Serving as an imaginative prequel to The Wizard of Oz, Wicked follows unlikely friends Glinda and Elphaba as they grow into their roles as The Good Witch and The Wicked Witch of the West. A massive success on Broadway, a highly-anticipated movie adaptation of Wicked is on the way, with director Jon M. Chu confirming it will be split into two parts.

While stopping by See What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Wicked‘s original star Kristin Chenoweth explains why a two-part movie makes sense. Although she admitted to not reading the original novel, Chenoweth explains that because there is so much material to cover and many characters to introduce and properly include, splitting the film into multiple parts will best tell its story. Read what Chenoweth had to say below:

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A screen adaptation of Wicked has long been in development in Hollywood, with rumors of a potential television series swirling as early as 2010. In 2016, Universal Pictures confirmed they were moving forward with a Wicked movie set to be released in 2021, but the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately shut down production, leading to its current director and cast. Filmmaker Stephen Daldry left due to scheduling conflicts during the pandemic, with In the Heights’ and Crazy Rich Asians’ Jon M. Chu taking over as director.

The Wicked movies will feature a star-studded cast led by Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo as Glinda and Elphaba, respectively. Among the cast include iconic actor Jeff Goldblum as The Wizard of Oz, Everything Everywhere All At Once’s Michelle Yeoh as headmistress Madame Morrible, and Saturday Night Live’s Bowen Yang as Pfannen. Bridgeton‘s Jonathan Bailey will also star opposite Grande and Erivo as their love interest Fiyero. In addition, musical veteran The Greatest Showman‘s Keala Settle will play Miss Coddle, with Bronwen James as ShenShen, Aaron Teoh as Avaric, and Colin Michael Carmichael as Professor Nikidik, rounding out the Wicked cast.

While confirmation that Wicked would be split into two parts was met with some divisive reactions, Chu assured that this will only benefit the story, and its plot, songs, and characters can be explored in a manner that stays true to the musical. Wicked’s co-writers and lyricists Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman wrote the film’s screenplay, and stage producer Marc Platt will also return as a producer on the movie. Including the creatives behind the Broadway musical and allowing ample time for Wicked to unfold are all steps in the right direction to bring the magic of the musical to the big screen. With Part 1’s release set for Christmas 2024 and Part 2’s release set for Christmas 2025, it’s clear every effort is being used to ensure Wicked the movies are a success.

More: Wicked Movie’s 2-Part Split Creates A Big Musical Problem To Overcom

Source: What Happens Live with Andy Cohen

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