Stephen Schwartz Discusses Changes to WICKED For Upcoming Film

Production on the Wicked films is set to begin this summer.

By: Jun. 28, 2022
Stephen Schwartz Discusses Changes to WICKED For Upcoming Film


Composer Stephen Schwartz has shared his thoughts on the decision to release the Wicked film in two parts.

In the latest edition of The Schwartz Scene, the composer revealed: "The truth is we tried for some time to make it one movie, even if it had to be one very long movie. But we kept running into two problems. The first is that even as a very long single movie, it required us cutting or omitting things that we wanted to include and that we think fans of the show and the story will appreciate."

The film's director, Jon M. Chu, confirmed in April that the Wicked film will be released in two parts, stating that cutting beloved songs or characters "began to feel like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years."

The first Wicked film will be released in the 2024 holiday season with the second installation coming in the following year.

Schwartz also seemingly confirmed that the first Wicked film will end after "Defying Gravity," the stage musical's act one finale.

"We found it very difficult to get past 'Defying Gravity' without a break. That song is written specifically to bring a curtain down, and whatever scene to follow it without a break just seemed hugely anti-climactic. So, for these two reasons, plus the excitement of doing something that's never been done before with a musical, we have decided to do two movies. Of course, when it's all done, if it doesn't work that way, we'll have to figure something out. But we strongly believe that this is what's best for our story, our show, and our fans."

Schwartz assured fans that any changes made to Wicked will be done so to add something new to the story, rather than just for the sake of making a change. Schwartz had recently recorded the demo for a new song for the film, featuring backing vocals from Troy Iwata, Marissa Rosen, and Wendi Bergamini.

"What we have discussed is that changes need to be 'additive,' to use Marc Platt's term. They need to add something to the story or the characters. They can't just be changes to do something different. I feel confident that by the time the movie is made, if we all continue to have the same degree of input, I could have a conversation with anyone who has a question about any of the changes made from the stage show and justify why I think it's better for the movie."

The film will be led by Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award winner Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and Grammy Winner Ariana Grande as Glinda. Their pair's casting was announced through their Instagram accounts in November 2021.

Jon M. Chu recently directed the acclaimed film adaption of In the Heights. Chu's other directorial credits include Crazy Rich Asians, Now You See Me 2, and Jem and the Holograms.

Aside from Wicked, Stephen Schwartz has written scores for several iconic musicals, including Pippin, Godspell, Working, the Baker's Wife, the Magic Show, and more. Schwartz is also collaborating with Alan Menken on new music for Disenchanted, the highly-anticipated sequel to Disney's Enchanted. The film is scheduled to be released in November on Disney+.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski


2023 Regional Awards


Photo: Ariana Grande Reveals New WICKED-Inspired Tattoo Photo
Photo: Ariana Grande Reveals New WICKED-Inspired Tattoo

Ariana Grande has revealed a new tattoo inspired by a song from Wicked in her latest Instagram post. The new photo comes after Grande also revealed that she had gotten the original illustration of Glinda from L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz books inked on the back of her hand. Check out the first photo of Grande's new Wicked tattoo now!

WICKED Movie Release Dates Unaffected by SAG-AFTRA Strike Photo
WICKED Movie Release Dates Unaffected by SAG-AFTRA Strike

Director Jon M. Chu has confirmed that while the Wicked movie has paused production due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, their respective release dates should not be affected. Production on the film halted on Friday just days before wrapping in the UK, with 'One Short Day' being left to film. Read Chu's statement now!

Update: WICKED Movie Shuts Down Production Following SAG-AFTRA Strike Photo
Update: WICKED Movie Shuts Down Production Following SAG-AFTRA Strike

Wicked actors including Cynthia Erivo, Ariana Grande, Michelle Yeoh, and Bowen Yang have posted in support of the strike. What does this mean for the film's production schedule?

WICKED: PART TWO to Premiere Earlier Than Expected Photo
WICKED: PART TWO to Premiere Earlier Than Expected

Universal has shifted the premiere date for the second part of the Wicked movie to a month earlier than its original release date. Wicked stars Ariana Grande as Glinda, Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba, Jonathan Bailey as Fiyero, Ethan Slater as Boq, Marissa Bode as Nessarose, Michelle Yeoh as Madame Morrible and Jeff Goldblum as the Wizard.

From This Author - Michael Major

Michael Major is a Connecticut native and a graduate of Marist College.After starting out running social media for a theatre company, his love of pop culture led him to intern at TigerBeat Media. Afte... Michael Major">(read more about this author)



Recommended For You