Chu has already directed the upcoming In the Heights movie musical, set for release on HBO Max later this year

By Alexia Fernández
February 02, 2021 08:58 PM
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Credit: getty images; IMDB

Jon M. Chu is headed to Oz!

The director confirmed he is set to direct the upcoming movie adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Wicked.

Chu, 41, has previously directed 2018's Crazy Rich Asians, Step Up 2: The Streets, and the upcoming movie version of In the Heights, to be simultaneously released later this year in theaters and on HBO Max on June 18.

"Most of my life I have felt out of place, weird and different," Chu wrote in a statement on Twitter. "I hid behind my camera because people liked to be filmed and I could disappear. I used my short films to wow people so I could feel valued. I felt GREEN in all the ways."

"But when I saw Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman's WICKED over 15 years ago as it was being workshopped in San Francisco I couldn't unsee it," he continued. "So to think that I have been invited to bring this timeless story to the biggest screens all around the world for people to experience with their family, best friends and total strangers… of all walks of life, ages, shapes and colors is like I've been invited to Oz by the Wizard himself."

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"Thank you Mark Platt, Stephen, Winnie and Universal Pictures for trusting in me to translate this incredible story for all the fans and future fans of Elphaba and Glinda. I will protect this vigorously and hopefully bring a few new surprises along the way."

He teased, "So… who wants to be Elphaba and Glinda?"

Chu also tweeted out the lyrics to "Defying Gravity" writing, ""Too late for second-guessing Too late to go back to sleep It's time to trust my instincts Close my eyes and leap..." #WickedMovie @UniversalPics #StephenSchwartz #WinnieHolzman #MarcPlatt it's time. So... Twitterverse, who should we cast?"

The musical film was initially set for release on December 22, 2021, but it was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wicked debuted on Broadway in October 2003 with Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth and Joel Grey as the original cast members playing Elphaba, Glinda and the Wizard, respectively. 

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The musical was based on the 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, and told the story of Elphaba's life prior to becoming the Wicked Witch of the West from the Judy Garland movie adaptation of the Wizard of Oz.

While attending magic school, Elphaba befriends Galinda (who later changes her name to Glinda the Good Witch) only to fall from grace after she discovers the truth behind the Wizard of Oz.

The original Broadway production won three Tony Awards and seven Drama Desk Awards, as well as a Grammy Award.