Film Director Jon M. Chu On Adapting The Hit Musical Play ‘Wicked’

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The Broadway musical ‘Wicked’ has garnered a massive fan following since its premiere in 2003 in San Francisco before arriving in New York. The stage play’s music is written by Stephen Schwartz and has gone on to receive numerous awards.

The play follows the Witches of Oz and acts as a sort of prequel and retelling of the popular novel ‘The Wizard of Oz’ by author L. Frank Baum.

Ever since its success, talk of a film has been around since 2004 when Universal Pictures announced they were making an adaption.

Now it appears that a movie is finally moving forward with ‘Jem and the Holograms’ director Jon M. Chu being tapped to helm the feature.

Chu recently sat down with Collider to discuss ‘Wicked’ and what direction the movie will take.

“We’re in the beginning stages of Wicked,” the ‘In the Heights’ director explained. “However, I think the philosophy of what musicals mean to me personally now that I have actually made a movie musical… you know, there’s theory about what movie musicals mean to me as being a watcher of movie musicals.”

He continued, “Now that I’ve gone through it, what really has hit me is the power of music and why musicals exist in the first place when words aren’t sufficient. Nowadays, words really aren’t sufficient for what we’re going through. So for me, it’s finding the truth of each song and working our way inside out of why that exists.”

“Yes, of course, we’re going to have Oz, and you’re going to be in this crazy world, and you’re going to revisit this innocent place and you’re going to see that it’s not as innocent as it had been in the past,” Chu explained. “But you’re also going to see that the relationship between these two women [Elphaba and Glinda] is more real than ever, that we’re going to be that close to them. We’re going to root for them to try to get into that school or when one crosses the other. You’re going to hate the other one at some point.”

He added, “You’re going to want them to make up at another point, and you’re going to feel when they separate. That’s the most important thing. The spectacle? That’s the easy part, we can hire a lot of people to do that. It’s those little moments… that’s what’s going to make that.”

‘Wicked’ is based on the novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire.


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