The Wicked Movie Is Being Split Into Two Films, Here’s Why
The ‘Wicked’ Movie Is Being Split Into Two Films, Here’s Why
This is going well.
The Wicked movie has been vaguely in the works for so long at this point, it seemed hard to believe audiences would actually get the big-screen adaptation of one of tourists’ favorite Broadway shows. And while that is, in fact, finally happening, there’s a little hiccup in exactly how.
Director Jon M. Chu announced Tuesday that the long-awaited production, set to star Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo, wound up getting too big for just one viewing. So it will now be two films.
“As we prepared this production over the last year, it became increasingly clear that it would be impossible to wrestle the story of WICKED into a single film without doing some real damage to it,” he wrote. “As we tried to cut songs or trim characters, those decisions began to feel like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years.
“So we decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and make not just one WICKED movie but TWO!!!!”
\u201cSpecial #Wicked Movie Announcement\u2026 \u270c\ud83c\udffc\ud83c\udfac\ud83e\uddf9\ud83c\udf38\ud83d\udc9asent from my OzPhone:\u201d— Jon M. Chu (@Jon M. Chu) 1650988922
The runtime for the Broadway show clocks in at around two hours and 45 minutes. While that would obviously be much longer than a traditional movie, it is still comparable to some film adaptations of stage musicals, including the recent West Side Story remake (with a runtime of two hours and 36 minutes), and even shorter than some theatrical releases, such as The Batman (runtime 2 hours and 56 minutes).
Chu also somewhat confusingly added that they hope to bring “even more depth and surprise to the journeys of these beloved characters,” leaving some fans wondering if the added length means new songs, characters, or plot lines will be added (something previously teased in earlier development of the film).
Either way, fans have already been somewhat on edge about the upcoming film, and this change isn’t really helping.
\u201cFrom the studio that brought us Cats and Dear Evan Hansen comes this baffling decision:\u201d— Musicals With Cheese \ud83c\udfbc\ud83c\udfad\ud83e\uddc0 (@Musicals With Cheese \ud83c\udfbc\ud83c\udfad\ud83e\uddc0) 1650992447
\u201c@jonmchu We don\u2019t need over 30 minutes of added material. We already love what exists.\u201d— Jon M. Chu (@Jon M. Chu) 1650988922
\u201c@MrVicePrez @jonmchu The stage musical features an intermission to allow people a break from being in their seats for 3+ hours. Movies don't do that. Movies also take more time establishing scene, location, etc than stage productions do.\u201d— Jon M. Chu (@Jon M. Chu) 1650988922
None— Jon M. Chu (@Jon M. Chu) 1650988922
But we’ll have to wait a while longer to see how this shakes out. The first Wicked movie is currently expected to hit theaters December 2024, with the following not coming out until December 2025.
At this rate, it’s hard not to wonder why they didn’t just make it a TV series. Or, you know, a Broadway musical.