The musical Wicked actually started its life being developed as a movie as Universal, before heading off to Broadway and becoming one of the most successful shows ever. Even since it became massive on stage, there’s been talk about Universal mounting it as a big budget film, but it’s always been on the backburner.
Now it seems they’re ready to put it back on the fast track, and according to Deadline they’re hoping to woo Stephen Daldry to direct. He’d certainly seem a good choice, as he’s a veteran of both stage and screen, and knows plenty about mounting a musical, such as directing the West End version of his film hit Billy Elliot. Universal is also looking towards Disney’s Oz The Great And Powerful, and betting that all thing Oz will be big business after that movie hits screen early next year.
Wicked, based on Gregory Maguire’s books, looks at the youth of the green-skinned Ephalba, who will one day becomes the Wicked Witch of the West. She doesn’t start out evil though, and only becomes an outsider because of other people, including the rather duplicitous ‘good witch’ Glinda.
At the moment, getting Daldry to direct is more what Universal wants than a reality, but they’re likely to be courting him over the next few weeks.