The 'Wicked' Movie This Way Comes To Theaters In December 2021

Wicked is defying gravity — and years of false starts — with an official release date. Universal has set the Wicked release date for December 2021, finally bringing the hit musical to the big screen. The feature adaptation of Winnie Holzman and Stephen Schwartz's Tony Award-winning musical was originally set to fly into theaters in 2019, but its release date was taken over by Tom Hooper's Cats.

Universal has set the official release date for Wicked for December 22, 2021, according to DeadlineStephen Daldry directs the feature adaptation of the musical created by Holzman with music and lyrics by Schwartz, itself based on the 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire.

This will be three years after Universal's original December 20, 2019 release date and five years after the studio first announced the feature adaptation of the beloved musical. The new release date will put Wicked against Avatar 3, an untitled Disney live-action film, and an untitled Warner Bros. animated feature on the five-day Christmas weekend. But considering Wicked's phenomenal popularity since the show first premiered on Broadway in 2003, Universal probably has little to worry about.

The wildly popular musical has seen an unbroken Broadway run since it premiered in 2003 and this year surpassed A Chorus Line to become Broadway's sixth-longest running show. Wicked has spawned several international productions and garnered three Tony Awards and six Drama Desk Awards, while its original cast album received a Grammy Award. It's a bonafide cultural landmark, and a movie adaptation was inevitable.

Loosely based on the dense but gripping novel by Maguire, the Wicked musical is a prequel to the Wizard of Oz that centers around the unlikely friendship between Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda the Good Witch. Their sweet and tender friendship anchors this story about political intrigue, and for which the casting is essential to making the movie work — though it's sad that original Broadway cast members Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth won't be likely to star. But with Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) in the director's chair and Marc Platt (Into the Woods, Bridge of Spies) producing, the Wicked movie seems like it's in good hands.

Wicked flies into theaters on December 22, 2021.