Mourning Wicked?

Ding Dong…is the ‘Wicked’ movie dead?

Via Wikimedia Commons

Don’t blame the girl with the bucket of water this time…

Industry trade paper The Hollywood Reporter has broken the unfortunate news: director Stephen Daldry as quit the movie version of the musical Wicked, due in theatres next Christmas.

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Daldry (who, incidentally, identifies as gay), the twice-Oscar nominated director of Billy Elliot and The Hours had spent years attached to the film version of Wicked, overseeing the project through years of development Hell. Now Daldry has quit the film, apparently due to schedule demands on the part of the studio, Universal Pictures. The COVID-19 pandemic caused major production delays, and Daldry was unwilling to commit to a new schedule.

Universal has now taken the film off its release calendar, signaling that audiences won’t see the movie anytime soon, if at all. Wicked has had a troubled development period, with a film version announced on and off since the musical debuted in 2003.

Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, the musical version of Wicked reimagines The Wizard of Oz told from the point of view of the Wicked Witch of the West. The musical, with book by Winnie Holsman and music by Stephen Schwarz, won three Tony Awards and continues to play on Broadway more than 10 years after it opened.