Will Cinemas Finally Turn Green in 2016? Wicked Producer Reveals Film’s Current Progress

Will Wicked Fly Onto The Big Screen Under Rob Marshall's Direction?
Credit: Omega Theatre

Yesterday we brought you the news that Rob Marshall had spoken with producer Marc Platt about finally bringing Elphaba and Glinda to the big screen in a movie version of Wicked.

As fans of both the stage musical and the duo’s most recent collaboration, Into the Woods (and look for our review over the next few days), it seemed like a match made in heaven. While Marshall didn’t give much away during the interview with Digital Spy, he did seem to suggest that a movie version featuring the witches of Oz might still be a long way off. Therefore, it was with great rejoicing at 4YE when we heard that Platt is pushing for the Wicked movie to fly onto screens in 2016, and with a different director at its helm.

Charles Madison of Film Divider spoke with the producer to clarify some of the various rumours currently flying around about the film. Firstly, is the film set for a 2016 release as advertised on the 2016 release calendar of UK cinema chain Vue?

It would appear that the answer is a resounding “yes”… at least for the moment. “[2016’s] not set in stone,” Platt revealed. “The process of developing [Wicked] has begun, we’re working on it, and whether it makes 2016 or not, I’m not sure.”

When further questioned, Platt conceded that it is a “loose goal.” The reason behind this is that all involved in the film version want audiences to have the same satisfying experience as those who have gone to see it in theatres, often time and time again.

“The bar is very high for the creators of Wicked… Audiences enjoy that show so much that we are intending to move forward on the movie but aren’t going to do so until we’re satisfied in the material we have as a screenplay, and that the film will be every bit as satisfying as what we have on the stage.”

As someone who has seen the stage show three times in London and once in New York, that reasoning definitely works for me. As one of my all-time favourite musicals, I would love to see this on the big screen, but the production needs to be as big, bright and wonderful as the stage show or else I would feel a bit ripped off.

Platt also that said that Winnie Holzman is currently working on the script, but there is currently no rush to have it completed by a certain date, after all “some things take time for a reason.”

And Platt’s director for the film? “It’s Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader). He’s been on for a year or two.”

While Marshall’s ability to bring musicals to life on screen is amazing (Into the Woods, NINE, Chicago), Daldry’s experience with both musicals (Billy Elliot) and highly emotive dramatic pieces such as The Hours and The Reader could make for a very interesting take on Wicked, especially the characterisations of Elphaba and Glinda.

However, this might all still be conjecture as we still do not have a completed script and the 2016 date is really still just a very fluid goal. Given it took 27 years to bring Into the Woods to cinemas and 30 years for Les Miserables, the 13 years wait that brings us to 2016 seems rather short.

Clare Sidoti
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