Wicked movie musical taps Jon M. Chu to direct
After dropping off of Disney+'s Willow, the In the Heights director boards another movie musical.
Jon M. Chu found a new movie musical to direct after helming the adaptation of In the Heights for Warner Bros.
The Crazy Rich Asians filmmaker has been tapped to direct Universal's Wicked movie, EW has learned. Multiple directors have weaved in and out of the project due largely to scheduling, according to multiple reports. Stephen Daldry was the latest to bow out in October, per Deadline.
Chu was supposed to executive produce the Disney+ Willow series and direct the pilot, but he had to exit due to the production schedule shifting for COVID-19 reasons. It appears one studio's loss is another studio's gain. Though, Chu is looking to stick with Disney as he's in early talks to direct the live-action Lilo & Stitch movie.
Wicked, currently in its 17th year on Broadway, follows the real story of Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, and Elphaba, the green-skinned Wicked Witch of the West. Idina Menzel, who voices Elsa in Frozen and Frozen II, and Kristin Chenoweth, seen this year in Netflix's Holidate, originated the roles of Elphaba and Glinda, respectively, on stage.
Winnie Holzman and Stephen Schwartz adapted author Gregory Maguire's Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West for the stage, and they are also working on the screenplay for the film. Marc Platt will produce.
A film adaptation has been a long time coming and Schwartz previously told EW it was finally moving along nicely before the pandemic. "Progress was being made both in terms of the writing and in terms of pre-production," he said. "Some of that can continue, but a lot of where we were has to be put on hold... It'll start up again when we're able to do it and that is moving forward. I can't predict the date of when that will actually go into production and will actually be released. But all I can say is that it's most definitely in process and in progress."
Deadline was the first to report the news of Chu's involvement.