3 Feb – Director Jon M. Chu, most known here for his box office hit, "Crazy Rich Asians", is set to helm the Universal film adaptation of the Broadway musical, "Wicked".
The filmmaker was brought on to direct the movie in replacement of Stephen Daldry, who was the original director of the said feature adaptation. Daldry left in October after a change to the production timeline, making him unable to commit to the new schedule.
Chu is no stranger to musical adaptations, having previously helmed the remake of Lin Manuel Miranda's Tony Award-winning production of "In the Heights". The said movie is tentatively scheduled for release in June this year.
First staged in 2003, Stephen Schwartz's "Wicked" is based on the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West", which itself is a retelling of the classic 1900 novel, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum and the 1939 MGM film "The Wizard of Oz".
The musical tells the story of two unlikely friends, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda (the Good Witch), who struggle through opposing personalities and viewpoints, love and rivalry, and reactions to the Wizard's corrupt government.
The stage version of Elphaba was played by Idina Menzel, most known for her voice work as Elsa in Disney's "Frozen", while Glinda was played by musical theatre darling, Kristin Chenoweth.