Universal has staked out December 20, 2019 for its feature adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Wicked. It’s been a long journey for this Wizard of Oz prequel to the big screen. To give you an idea of how long it has been in development, Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr broke the news of Stephen Daldry’s attachment as director back in July 2012.
Wicked has been seen by more than 50 million fans worldwide and in March crossed the $1 billion mark in Broadway ticket sales. Globally, Wicked has racked up $4 billion. Marc Platt, who also produced the Broadway stage show, is also producing the film version.
The three-time Tony Award-winning stage musical was adapted from Gregory Maguire’s bestselling novel by book writer Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life) and composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin), who are also collaborating on the screenplad. Wicked is produced on Broadway by Platt, Universal Stage Productions, the Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone.
Wicked began as a movie development project with Platt and Universal, before they changed course and took it to the stage first. It was an immediate sensation, quickly recouping its $14M capitalization in 2004, becoming one of the biggest-grossing tuners of all time.
Universal owns the highest-grossing Broadway musical-to-screen title of all-time: 2008’s Mamma Mia!, which counts $609.8M worldwide.
Wicked is being released during the holiday-Oscar corridor, a similar spot where its 2012 Les Miserables thrived earning eight Oscar noms and three wins including Supporting Actress for Anne Hathaway. Its global gross was $441.8M. Currently, the only other pic on that pre-Christmas weekend in 2019 is an untitled Disney live-action fairy tale movie.