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A ‘Wicked’ Movie Is Finally Happening…We Think

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I saw Wicked for the first time just a few weeks before my sixth birthday when it came to Tampa. It wasn’t my first time seeing professional theatre, but absolutely one of the most — if not the most — impactful production in my childhood. So, when I heard they were making a film adaption, I was absolutely ecstatic. Except, that was maybe 12 years ago, and the original cast was in talks to reprise their roles. 

In 2021, Wicked fans have been put through the wringer when it comes to getting a movie. Rights have been bounced around and announced release dates have come and gone. We seemed no closer to an actual movie than we were all those years ago, until casting announcements were finally made last week. 

I will admit that I lost interest in a film adaption some time ago, so any opinions from here on come from a lifelong Wicked fan who is completely and utterly indifferent to this film. 

Fans of the musical have absolutely had their share of opinions about the recent casting of Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and Ariana Grande as Glinda. But, then again, with a production that is over 18 years old with dozens of actors who have played each role, no announcement was going to be an absolute win. 

That’s just the thing. Wicked has performed in over 100 cities across 16 countries and is the second-highest-grossing Broadway show of all time; there are millions of people who have seen this show and fallen in love with it. Millions of people who, likewise, are going to be critical of change. Will anything be a win for us?

Stage-to-screen adaptions have a reputation for disapproval from the theatre community, usually due to casting or execution. Even the generally well-received In the Heights movie had its criticisms from devoted fans of the show. But, following Universal’s last attempt at a film adaption, Cats, many feel a bit fearful when it comes to Wicked. 

While I doubt the studio will even come close to any of the mistakes they made with Cats, there is a question of what direction they want to take the film. An equally successful production, The Phantom of the Opera, had a film adaption release from Warner Bros in 2004, and, while the movie isn’t bad, it’s absolutely different from the original stage production. Even with the same source material, the film was meant to be a more romantic take on the musical (I am avoiding certain verbiage here as lead Emmy Rossum was only 16 at the time). As a raging fan of this musical as well, I can say the show and the movie leave me with different feelings, despite being the same story. 

That’s a large concern of most fans. Wicked is a good show, and it would take a lot to make a bad movie. But will it be the Wicked we love? Or a director’s vision of work that isn’t theirs?

This film has a lot riding on it. There are dozens of Oz stories out there, but Wicked has something about it that feels like home and keeps bringing fans back again and again. We can only trust that filmmakers will understand that and make sure their movie does the same. 

One of us might stumble across this article again in two years or so and laugh at how silly it was to be this worried. I hope that’s what happens. I don’t think most fans are dismissive of the idea of a movie more than cautious about how much optimism to put towards it. 

But, the merry old land of Oz always has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. At the end of the day, I will be grateful for any trip back.

Senior at the University of Central Florida studying Writing and Rhetoric with a minor in Mass Media. Originally from Tampa, FL, and loves going to Disney, the beach, and reading.
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