The Wicked Movie Has Been Hit With Another Production Delay

Well, folks, it seems like we're going to be looking toward the western sky for a lot longer as Universal's film adaptation of the smash-hit Broadway musical "Wicked" has been held up by yet another production delay. According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Wicked" was originally scheduled to begin filming in March of 2022 in Atlanta, but the start of production has been pushed a few months to June, and the shooting location has shifted across the pond to the U.K.

Everyone deserves the chance to fly, indeed, but sometimes things take a little longer than expected. Production delays understandably make audiences nervous or make many assume that trouble is afoot, but it seems like this delay is necessary in order to get production efficiencies where they need to be. For anyone who hasn't seen "Wicked," it's a massive show filled with larger-than-life spectacle and, of course, flying. As "Wicked" is going to be the first production to shoot on the recently-built Universal stages at Sky Studios in Elstree, England, ensuring the safety of the production is paramount.

Interestingly enough, as THR pointed out, "Wicked" does not have an official green light and is technically "in development." However, producers Marc Platt (who has produced just about everything you love) and David Stone ("The Boys in the Band," "Little Woods") as well as director Jon M. Chu ("In the Heights," "Crazy Rich Asians") have been given permission to proceed.

A Film Over 15 Years In The Making

Talks of a movie version of "Wicked" began a year after the show debuted on Broadway in 2003, and later became the third show, following "The Phantom of the Opera" and "The Lion King," to hit over $1 billion in ticket sales. To put that into perspective, "Hamilton" is only halfway there. Universal originally slated Stephen Daldry ("Billy Elliot," "The Reader," "The Crown") to direct the film, but left the project due to scheduling and creative conflicts. "Wicked" has been in development for over 17 years now, but the script is allegedly still in progress.

The musical "Wicked" is an unofficial prequel to "The Wizard of Oz," focusing on the relationship between Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda the Good Witch. The Broadway show features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz ("Godspell," "Pippin," "Children of Eden") and book by Winnie Holzman ("My So-Called Life," "Huge," "Birds of Paradise").

"Wicked" is a highly anticipated release for Universal, and an attempt to revitalize its reputation for quality stage-to-film adaptations like "Mamma Mia!" and "Les Misérables" following the less-than-stellar performances of "Dear Evan Hansen" and "Cats."

At this time, no casting decisions have been announced. The original Elphaba, Idina Menzel ("Frozen," "Rent," "Uncut Gems"), has been gunning for the role since the announcement, but there have also been rumors that Ariana DeBose of "Hamilton," "The Prom," and the upcoming "West Side Story" fame has been eyed for the leading green lady.