Theatre News

Stephen Schwartz: Wicked movie to start production later this year in Georgia

The film is set to shoot throughout 2022

Stephen Schwartz
Stephen Schwartz
© Dan Wooller

Stephen Schwartz has provided an update on the upcoming Wicked movie, set to be directed by In the Heights' Jon M Chu and preparing to begin filming.

The hit piece, which is a twist on the classic Wizard of Oz tale, is, according to Schwartz, "currently planned to start production … in Atlanta later this year, and then film all through next year." So expect a release date into 2023 at this rate, if Schwartz's comments to AJC are accurate.

One sticking point was, according to the composer, the location: Atlanta is at the epicentre of a major political problem right now, following intense new voter restriction laws that have caused major outcry across the world – with many organisations and producers having pulled their work from the state in response.

Schwartz, however, says that the Wicked team decided to carry on working in Georgia following a phone call from Georgia politician Stacey Abrams, who pled with the team to stay, saying that the feature will help out local businesses in the area. Furthermore, by having a film actually in-state, it may aid Abrams' appeals to get the new voter restriction rules struck off.

The Children of Eden composer added: "This is not a partisan issue; [At Wicked, we have] fans who are Republicans, we have fans who are Democrats, and we have fans who are independents…But, I believe that all our Wicked fans believe in democracy, and … that people who are old enough to vote and want to vote should have the right to do so without having that right impinged upon or suppressed"

Wicked will also be reopening later this year at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London.

In other news, Schwartz's musical The Prince of Egypt has just reopened at the Dominion Theatre – playing initially to socially distanced audiences.

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