Fans of the long-running Broadway play Wicked are thrilled that they will be able to finally see their beloved musical hit the big screen. However, they will have to wait until the end of 2021 as its release was pushed back to accommodate the debut of another Broadway phenomenon on film, Cats, starring among other big-name stars, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hudson.
Variety reported there will be a screen adaptation of the real story of the witches of Oz, Wicked, which is still in pre-production and will debut in two years. The three-time Tony Award-winning stage musical was slated to hit the big screen in December of this year, but Universal Pictures, who will also produce the Cats film, decided to push it back two years from its original 2019 release date to accommodate the movie debut of the Andrew Lloyd Webber and T.S. Eliot play.
The big screen adaptation of Wicked will also contain two new songs, in addition to iconic tunes such as “For Good,” “The Wizard and I,” “Popular,” and “Defying Gravity,” reported Variety.
The two main characters of Wicked are the beautiful and bubbly Galinda, who is in direct contrast from Elphaba’s elusive personality. The two are both strong and an equal match for one another and surprisingly, they find they have more in common than their perceived differences from each another.
Variety noted Wicked has surpassed the iconic Broadway play A Chorus Line to become the sixth longest-running Broadway musical of all time. Since its debut, Wicked has grossed $1.3 billion over the past 15 years, noted the entertainment site.
Wicked and Cats number some of the longest-running Broadway plays of all time, a list which includes Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, The Lion King, Les Misérables, A Chorus Line, Oh, Calcutta!, Mamma Mia!, Beauty and the Beast, Rent, and Jersey Boys.
While the cast for the film adaptation of Wicked has not been set, there is already speculation about who should take the title roles. Two of the most infamous leads from the play, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, top the list. The website Theater Nerds reported that a movie adaptation of the play has been in the works for years. It noted that in 2015, both Glee star Lea Michelle and singer Harry Styles were listed as Elphaba and Fiyero on the IMDB page for the movie. It also revealed that in 2017, Nicole Scherzinger was rumored to be vying for the role of Elphaba.
The site’s top pics for some of the key roles are Panic! At The Disco lead singer Brendon Urie (who starred in Kinky Boots), Samantha Barks (who played Eponine in the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary concert), and Oscar-winners Meryl Streep and Hugh Jackman.
The Cats film is currently in production and, per Playbill, will star Hudson, Swift, Ian McKellen, James Corden, Laurie Davidson, Mette Towley, Idris Elba, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, and Rebel Wilson.
Cats will claw into theaters in December 2019.