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BWW Blog: The WICKED Film - Stage to Screen

When I first saw Wicked on Broadway, it was the show that made me realize I wanted to do musical theatre as a career.

When I first saw Wicked on Broadway, it was the show that made me realize I wanted to do musical theatre as a career. And there are rumors (now confirmed) that the show will be coming to the big screen (or Netflix). I wanted to talk a little bit about what I thought about the show and what I think will transfer well, my dream cast, and some of the differences between a film adaptation and a proshot.

BWW Blog: The WICKED Film - Stage to ScreenA film adaptation is simply that: an adaptation of the musical set to film as opposed to a proshot: a filmed production of the musical on stage. For Wicked, I think a film adaptation is the perfect medium as the stage version has been running/in the works since 2003. In a film adaptation, there are more opportunities to be creative when it comes to casting, set/costume/lighting design and choreography.

Some numbers that I think will transfer really well to being filmed is Dancing through Life. I can imagine the camera gliding along with Fiyero as he goes around the set. Shiz University could be filmed at a live university (personally, I think University of Michigan would be a great location, moreso for the architecture itself and design then just it being a top musical theatre university). If you're going all out, another great location for a Shiz University would be Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. I mean, it's already known for being green.

BWW Blog: The WICKED Film - Stage to ScreenI can't talk about musical numbers without mentioning the Act One finale: Defying Gravity. There are so many opportunities for a green screen here. The first backdrop/scene that comes to mind is something along the lines of Harry Potter with dementors/death eaters. This number is the first time we see her taking power over Oz and having a dark background with her glowing in the sky just screams Wicked.

As for a dream cast, it would be nice to have some original cast members come back, but if we're talking about an adaptation, there's more room to have new actors and characters come into the story. For example, we don't get to see as much of Elphaba's mother in the beginning and a film adaptation might be able to give more background/plot on what happened before Elphaba was born. I would also like to see a more diverse cast, with more people of color playing lead roles. That doesn't necessarily mean every person in the cast needs to be BIPOC, but it would continue the work we've been doing/still need to do in advocating for the voices of African Americans in our world. For example, pre-COVID, Brittney Johnson was one of the first Black actresses to play Glinda on Broadway and could make a great Glinda on-screen. As for Elphaba, I would love to see Lindsay Pearce reprise her role as Elphaba or another alum of the Wicked cast.


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