Posted on Friday, July 13th, 2012 by Angie Han
As film after film gets reworked for the Great White Way, two Broadway smash hits are, in turn, inching closer to the big screen. Universal’s been trying to put together a movie adaptation of Wicked (itself the stage adaptation of Gregory Maguire‘s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West) for a few years now with little to show for it, but now they’re actively courting Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close helmer Stephen Daldry for the gig.
Meanwhile, over at Sony/Columbia, Jon Favreau‘s gone from being the frontrunner to direct the studio’s Jersey Boys pic to actually negotiating for the job. More details on both after the jump.
The news about Favreau isn’t such a shocker, since we’ve known for weeks now that he was the favorite to take over the Jersey Boys helm. No start date or release date has been announced for Jersey Boys at this point, but as Deadline reports that the project is a “high priority” one for the studio we expect cameras to roll sooner rather than later. (Which, yes, is bad news for those eager to see his Disney tentpole Magic Kingdom.) The Tony-winning show follows the real-life rags-to-riches tale of Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons, and has raked in over a billion dollars in worldwide ticket sales since opening on Broadway in 2005.
Daldry’s potential involvement in the Wicked movie is more unexpected, as development on it has been fairly slow-moving over the past few years. Producer Marc Platt and Universal initially planned to turn Maguire’s book into a film several years ago, but decided to bring it to the stage first instead. Since its opening in 2003, it’s become one of the highest-grossing Broadway musicals of all time, and continues to top the charts on a weekly basis. The show explores the backstory of Elphaba, the misunderstood Wicked Witch of the West, and retells some of the events of The Wizard of Oz from her perspective.
Universal’s Wicked picture should not be confused with the Salma Hayek-produced non-musical miniseries brewing over at ABC, which will hew more closely to Maguire’s book than to the Broadway show. While the Frank L. Baum story has been beloved for decades, it seems particularly in vogue at the moment. Sam Raimi’s Wizard-centric prequel Oz: The Great and Powerful debuted a trailer at Comic-Con this week, while E! announced Dorothy just a couple of months ago.