Composer Stephen Schwartz discusses Wicked movie's two parts
It seems the first part will end with showstopper "Defying Gravity"
Wicked creator Stephen Schwartz has revealed further details about the splitting of the blockbuster musical into two parts when it hits the silver screen.
The fan-favourite revisionist twist on the cult classic Wizard of Oz tale is currently in pre-production ahead of shooting, with a cast led by Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and Ariana Grande as Glinda. In the directors chair is Jon M Chu, who did pretty stellar work on In the Heights in 2021. Chu was the first to break the news that Wicked's story had been split into two features.
Speaking to fan newsletter "The Schwartz Scene", Schwartz 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 second key reason for splitting the film was that: "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."
Schwartz went on: "What we have discussed is that changes need to be ‘additive,' to use (producer) 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."
In the meantime, Wicked continues to run in the West End, with a cast led by Lucie Jones and Helen Woolf. The first movie is set for December 2023.