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Chairman of Universal Pictures:

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jacobsnchz14
Broadway Legend
joined:12/13/06
THR: With Les Mis a hit, why haven't you greenlighted Wicked?

Fogelson: Wicked has been an enormous win for this company [Universal is majority owner of the Broadway musical]. The way it works, we should be in agreement together on when the right time to do this is. But I will tell you I believe that we are collectively moving toward Wicked coming to the screen sooner rather than later.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/universal-chairman-wants-fifty-shades-422217
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CarlosAlberto
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/10
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 10:08am
This doesn't surprise...especially with the phenomenal box office performance of Les Miserables. WICKED transcends just Broadway audiences...it has a huge fan base made up of a huge demographic which is a good thing because it has across-the-boards appeal. It's not limited to age or gender or people who just go see musicals. That works in the property's favor because it stands to make a lot of money if made...and made well. The hold out to adapt it to film all these years also works in it's favor because it had built up the anticipation for it.
"I was raised to be charming, not sincere"
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 10:10am
I say this won't happen before 2016. At least Cheno will still be young enough then to play a high school student on film!
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Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 10:34am
I'm with Jordan. We basically have the "Wicked"concept, sans music, coming to movie theatres in two weeks. Even if that film bombs (unlikely), they'll want to wait a few years before filming something so similar in idea.

I still think they should explore doing WICKED as an animated film.
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 10:36am
Only if it's a Miyazaki film.
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bdn223
Broadway Star
joined:6/14/08
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 10:50am
The issue a Wicked film now face's is Wizard of Oz fatigue. There will be two films based on the book/1939 film coming out this year. The first Oz: The Great and Powerful a prequel to the original film and Dorothy of Oz an animated sequel. If one of these films, especially Oz the Great and Powerful becomes a blockbuster then the film adaptation of Wicked will be put on hold indefinitely because Universal would not want comparisons to be drawn between the two films by new audiences who are not familiar with the musical. This is similar to the Twilight knock off films. Most recently Warm Bodies and Beautiful Creatures, although they come from different source material the basic premise is close enough to Twilight that general audiences think that they are just producers trying to cash in on the success of Twilight and are turned off by this.
Universal in general will not want to release Wicked with either of these film's fresh in audience's minds. This is similar to Disney/Pixar's animated film project Newt about the last "newt on earth" which was supposed to be realized this year, but after Rango opened in theaters last year to critical praise and commercial success the project was shelved indefinitely. Disney also saw the comparison between two films killing a movie's box office gross first hand with The Wild which was released a year after Madagascar, and similarities between the two films is believed to have killed the grosses of the former.

Although many on here may argue that Wicked is a completely different take on the Wizard of Oz story with an already established fan base, it is still a prequel to the Wizard of Oz just like Oz the Great and Powerful. Because of that is Oz: the Great and Powerful is a hit and spawns sequel(s) a film adaptation of Wicked will be put on the back burner until the film is just a memory, which means probably 5-10 years.
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finebydesign
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/07
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 11:28am
I guess we'll see how this new Oz film does, but that business of "But I will tell you I believe that we are collectively moving toward Wicked coming to the screen sooner rather than later. " Is total suit BS.

If that Oz movie is a success (I'd be shocked if it is) maybe we'll see movement on this project. If not, I would also guess 2016-18. Not sure why anyone would rush this.

As far as Oz fatigue. Is "Dorothy of Oz" ever going to get a release? I have a feeling if it does, it is going straight to DVD. The animation looks cheap and I've seen this delayed a few times.

As far as Cheno or Menzel reprising roles, they both already look too old to me. Unless they do some CG version of themselves (which may not be a horrible idea). That said, I can't imagine them not looking for real stars hear ala Beyonce.

Pixar/Disney vs. Dreamworks saw quite a few similar films Antz/Bugs Life, Emperors New Groove/ Road to Eldorado, Shrek/Monsters Inc (both monsters), Shark Tale/Finding Nemo. Finally Wild vs. Madagscar. I think there was also a CG bird movie that conflicted with Chicken Run.

The early CGI films were limited in what characters could be animated so you see a lot of similarities. Mostly it feels like they were two companies with lots of money trying to find the next "big thing." It's neat to see which films succeeded and which didn't and why.
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FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 11:32am
It will make a great companion island to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando.
'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 11:35am
Is this going to be starring the same Galinda that plays the Indian woman on THE GOOD WIFE?
mememe
Swing
joined:10/14/07
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 11:39am
Any actress who plays either Elphaba or Glinda will be the wrong age at some point during the film. They wont consider this but they could easily have two younger actresses play the roles up until the end of the first half and the original pairing play the elder Elphaba and Glinda (and obviously have the elders in the opening)
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Wynbish
Broadway Legend
joined:4/27/12
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 11:46am
"Now and Then: The Musical"!
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JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 11:53am
Mememe how much time passes between when we seen Elphaba and Galinda arrive at Shiz and the end of the show?
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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bdn223
Broadway Star
joined:6/14/08
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 11:55am
Finding Namo
There will be no theme park adaptation of the Wizard of Oz in Universal Studios in Orlando Florida. This is because Disney owns the rights to the theme park attraction adaptation of the original film, which the original book/musical is based off of. Disney and MGM (the original producer of the film) had a shared venture in MGM studios now Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. Although their contract has expired and Disney decided not to renew it, MGM gave Disney the rights to countinue use their movies in The Great Movie ride where The Wizard of Oz is one of the movies featured. This is why their are "Wicked" attractions in Universal Studios Hollywood and Tokyo, but not Orlando, due to the film already being featured in a Walt Disney World attraction. Disney was also planning on creating an attraction at Dinseyland in the 1970's which fell through, but with their new film prequels I would not be surprised if Disney, not Universal creates a Oz related theme park/land in one of it's current theme parks
beautywickedlover
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/07
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 01:43pm
I would like see Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty play Elphaba and Glinda respectively. Though if it were to happen I hope Hilty will tone down the over-the-top humor that she had during her final months of her first engagement during the Los Angeles sit down production.

Here are my choices for the other parts:

Fiyero: Aaron Tveit or Jeremy Jordan

The Wizard: David Garrison or Tom McGowan

Madame Morrible: Julie Andrews, Meryl Streep, or Carol Kane

Nessarose: Samantha Barks or Taylor Swift (I don't think it would be challenging for her)

Boq: David Archuleta, Nolan Gould, or Logan Lerman

Doctor Dillamond: Timothy Britten Parker
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OperaBwayLover
Broadway Star
joined:5/17/07
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 02:39pm
A "Wicked" film sooner or later: yeah, sure, just as 'soon' as they see how much Les Mis cleans up at the Oscars. Les Mis is already a bonafide hit, to put it mildly, but you know Universal's also thinking of Oscars. They'd be stupid not to be.

That said, I agree with bdn223's first post. As much as I'd love a "Wicked" film in the near future, I'm concerned that the potential audience will be tapped out due to the two upcoming Oz films. Unless they can find a unique way to market the film- maybe in the trailer, something like "Not the witches you've seen before"- it might be tricky. I say get it to storyboard form, do some early CGI work, and maybe shoot for this for 2015 or 2016.
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 02:49pm
You guys are acting like the OZ film opening in 2 weeks is going to take away from the box office potential of a film that won't be in theaters for years. That's why I love threads like this. This isn't exactly a DEEP IMPACT/ARMAGEDDON situation.
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TheGingerBreadMan
Broadway Star
joined:12/7/12
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 04:39pm
I still think they should explore doing WICKED as an animated film.

No. No. No. No. No.

No.
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 05:03pm
Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Why?
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SNAFU
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/04
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 05:56pm
I think WICKED, as an animated film is an inspired idea! Did you see that rough animation of Defying Gravity that was kicking around a couple years ago? F*cking breathtaking!

ETA: then they could have Eyedina and Cheno play the roles no problemo.
Those Blocked: SueStorm. N2N Nate. Good riddence to stupid! Rad-Z, shill begone!
Updated On: 2/21/13 at 05:56 PM
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all that jazz
Broadway Legend
joined:4/5/12
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 07:12pm
^ Absolutely Not!!!
Wicked is to big of a musical and I have been waiting for a very long time to see it filmed, for it to be an animated film.
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 07:31pm
Does Universal know how you feel about this? You should tell them since you've been waiting so long.
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Playbilly
Broadway Legend
joined:3/30/12
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 07:35pm
Comcast will soon own all of NBC/Universal. If there is a regime change, anything can happen.
"Through The Sacrifice You Made, We Can't Believe The Price You Paid..For Love!"
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all that jazz
Broadway Legend
joined:4/5/12
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 07:37pm
I respect your sarcasm Jordan, so I'm going to play along.

Yes. They should know because I wrote them a very strong worded letter a couple of years ago specifying that they had to revive Judy garland to play Elphaba alongside Kesha as Galinda.
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ucjrdude902
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/07
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 07:52pm
I just want Robin Williams as the Wizard and Bette Midler as Morrible
Jonwo
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/06
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 07:54pm
I think they could cast unknowns in the roles of Elphaba and Glinda but cast more famous actors in the other roles like The Wizard and Morrible,
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all that jazz
Broadway Legend
joined:4/5/12
Chairman of Universal Pictures:
Posted: 2/21/13 at 08:04pm
This could be Universal's biggest success yet, I don't think they'll rely on unknown actresses for the leading roles. They will most likely be mega pop stars which actually, as long as they can sing, wouldn't bother me at all. I can see Lady Gaga as Elphaba.

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