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Jon M. Chu to direct 'Wicked' movie adaptation

Jon M. Chu at the Crazy Rich Asians Premier
Jon M. Chu at the 'Crazy Rich Asians' premiere with his wife, Kristin Hodge August 21, 2018. (Image credit: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Yesterday, Deadline revealed that Jon M. Chu, director of Crazy Rich Asians and In the Heights will direct the upcoming adaptation of Broadway smash-hit musical, Wicked. 

Chu responded to the news on Twitter. He tweeted some choice lyrics from ‘Defying Gravity’, one of the most iconic songs from Wicked. 

Attached to the tweet was a screenshot of the Deadline article alongside a personal note which explained how excited he was to be directing the Wicked movie. He concluded by asking his followers who he should cast in the lead roles.

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Jon M. Chu's full statement reads:

'Most of my life I have felt out of place, weird and different. 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. 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.

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.

So… who wants to be Elphaba and Glinda’.

The previous director, Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) departed the project back in October 2020. Daldry reportedly left due to Universal wanting to move too quickly on the production.

Several other directors had previously been considered for the role, including Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns), Ryan Murphy (The Prom), and J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker).

Wicked is a musical theatre success story. Based on Gregory Maguire’s series of books, it takes a fresh look at the relationship between the soon-to-be Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North.

The smash-hit show is now in its 17th year on Broadway, and the original production received 10 Tony Award nominations back in 2004. It grossed more than $56 million in its first year alone.

Elsewhere, Jon M. Chu is also at the helm of the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, which is slated for release on HBO Max and in cinemas on June 18, 2021.