Re-readaptation(s) of Wicked in Our Future
March 23, 2011
Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West took L. Frank Baum’s beloved Oz in a new direction; bringing it in the world of adults. Wicked features political intrigue, beautiful mythology, and deep characters that you can’t help but love (or hate). In 2003, musician and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Prince of Egypt) and screenwriter Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life, ABC) wrote a musical adaptation of the book for Broadway. The musical version "dumbed down" some of the more adult situations in the book and is filled with number after number of catchy and memorable songs. According to Playbill.com, it is the 17th longest running show on Broadway.
For several years, there have been talks about a film adaptation of the musical. Many hoped that their film would be made in time for several of the original cast members of the stage play to play the parts in the film version (this however will be most unlikely to happen as the original players are in their late thirties and the main characters are college students). Others hoped that an adaptation would instead be made from source material, Gregory’s novel. But which side will win? (Note: I am not trying to suggest that there is any sort of contest between the two sides…in fact, I shouldn’t even call them sides; it just comes off as too confrontational) Well, it so happens that both camps may get their wish…one for sure.
Universal Pictures has been said to be toying with the idea of an adaptation of the musical, with such names as J.J. Abrams (Fringe TV, Super 8), Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck, Glee), and Rob Marshal (Chicago, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) being thrown around as potential directors. Entertainment Weekly reported in their January 9, 2011 issue that Salma Hayek and her production company would be partnering with ABC to produce a mini-series based on Gregory Maguire original work with no influence from Minnie Holzman’s play book. A mini-series can be good and it can be bad. On the one hand, they can stay truer to the story with the amount of time they have. On the other, it has the potential of being cheesy. We will have to just wait and see.
Blue Ridge Branch