Breaking News: Stephen Daldry In Talks to Direct WICKED Film; Stephen Schwartz Announces Departure from HOUDINI Musical

WICKED author Gregory Maguire and the musical's composer Stephen Schwartz appeared in a recent on-stage conversation presented by the Mark Twain House & Museum, at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, CT. At the event, which was moderated by Frank Rizzo, Schwartz revealed some exciting new updates for his latest projects!

During the interview, featured in yesterday's, Schwartz was asked about the current progress of the much-talked about big screen adaptation of the long-running Broadway hit WICKED. The composer shared that negotiations are currently under way (with "Billy Elliot"s Stephen Daldry reportedly as director) and added that discussions were on-going regarding what they can do in the film that could not be done on stage.

When moderator Rizzo suggested that the role of WICKED's Madame Morrible be played by Oscar and Tony award winner Liza Minnelli, whose mom, Judy Garland, portrayed Dorothy in the 1939 film, Schwartz teased that he was a fan of the idea. "As I am fond of saying, it's not the worst idea I've ever heard," he commented.

Schwartz also commented on his latest project, writing lyrics for a "Bollywood animated film" along with Slumdog Millionaire composer A.R. Rahman titled "The Monkeys of Mumbai". "It's 'Slumdog Millionaire' with monkeys," he joked.

When asked about "Houdini", the musical which was originally set to star Hugh Jackman in a Broadway run, Schwartz revealed his involvement with that project is over, "although others may pursue it."

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Schwartz has contributed music and/or lyrics to Godspell, Bernstein's Mass, Pippin, The Magic Show, The Baker's Wife, Working (which he also adapted and directed), Rags and Children of Eden. For films, he collaborated with Alan Menken on the scores for Disney's Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dameand Enchanted and wrote the songs for DreamWorks animated feature The Prince of Egypt. His first opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, was presented by New York City Opera in April, 2011. Defying Gravity, a book about his professional career, was recently published by Applause Books. Mr. Schwartz is the artistic director of the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshops and president of the Dramatists Guild. Awards include three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a tiny handful of tennis trophies. He was recently inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.

Just yesterday, BroadwayWorld flashed back to Wicked's 10th Anniversary celebration in honor of the show's eleventh birthday. Click here to check it out!

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

Photo credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy

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