‘Wicked’ Film Adaptation Eyeing 2016 Release – Who Should Play Elphaba and Glinda?


wicked_broadwayCall this bittersweet excitement but still probably my most anticipated film in life at the moment.  After “Les Miserables” and “Into the Woods” getting their day on the silver screen, the adaptation of the Tony-award winning “Wicked” is finally being adapted into a film.  

According to Movie Pilot, who received their story from Film Divider, Academy Award nominee Stephen Daldry is confirmed as the director, with television writer Winnie Holzman (MTV’s “My So Called Life”) penning the script.  No cast has been confirmed yet.  The original Broadway production earned mega star Idina Menzel a Tony for Best Actress in a Musical, who beat co-star Kristen Chenoweth.  Unfortunately for everyone, the two are too old to reprise their roles.  There’s no decision on who will play the green-skinned Elphaba or the blonde-haired Glinda.

Daldry is set to release his newest film “Trash” in 2015.  He’s also on a roll with three consecutive Best Picture nominated pictures.  His first film “Billy Elliot” got him a nomination for Best Director.  Perhaps this is a sure-fire awards contender in the future.  The film looks to be eyeing a 2016 release.

Choices for Elphaba:

  • Samantha Barks – Barks’ run for an Oscar nomination was overshadowed by co-star Anne Hathaway’s winning turn in Tom Hooper’s musical adaptation “Les Miserables.”  Éponine’s “On My Own” was one of the film’s highlights, and Barks has the musicality and emotional range that should allow Elphaba to just soar on-screen.  
  • Lea Michele – Everyone knows the overbearing yet lovable Rachel Berry on FOX’s “Glee” which is currently in its final season.  After FOX’s musical show goes off the air, the gorgeous Lea Michele will be looking for her next opportunity to breakout.  She’s already sang the song once in an episode during the first season of “Glee.”
  • Anne Hathaway – Winning the Oscar for playing Fantine in Tom Hooper’s “Les Miserables” was a true testament to her talent.  I’m sure there are better choices, especially from actresses who deserve a shot to sink their teeth into a song like “Defying Gravity.”
  • Emily Blunt – Listen, I love Emily Blunt far more than the average person, and she’s a smidge too old to really attack the role the way I’d like but her performance in “Into the Woods” showed a musical range and charisma I hadn’t seen from her.   
  • Katharine McPhee – The “American Idol” Season 5 runner-up (losing to Taylor Hicks, the worst Idol winner to date) has found success on the music charts, and on television with NBC’s “Smash,” before it was cancelled.  The beautiful McPhee might actually be better suited for Glinda at the end of the day, but I think there’s a true breakout film role in her marked in the future.

Choices for Glinda:

  • Anna Kendrick – “Pitch Perfect” had her offer the world “The Cup Song” and “Into the Woods” brought Cinderella to a dark, new place.  As the bubbly Glinda, Kristen Chenwoeth knocked it out of the park.  Those are some HUGE shoes to fill.  I think if you place Kendrick in the role, she’s a future Best Supporting Actress (you know there going to commit category fraud) winner.
  • Megan Hilty – Katharine McPhee’s co-star from “Smash,” Hilty has played the role, and is still within the age looking range to do it justice.  She’s due for a role in Warren Beatty’s Howard Hughes film scheduled for later this year.  Perhaps the first step to the world learning of her existence.
  • Kristen Bell – The “Frozen” actress has the legion of musical fans that would accept a Kristen Bell-interpreted version of Glinda.  Playing Anna offered her an opportunity to reach a new audience outside the “Veronica Mars” cult followers and the stoners who still love “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”  She would translate pretty seamless into the good witch’s shoes.
  • Michelle Williams – She opened “Cabaret” on Broadway opposite Alan Cumming, and sang a bit in “My Week with Marilyn.”  I think this future Oscar-winner has the chops to possibly translate well.  Hopefully we can all forget the travesty that was “Oz: The Great and Powerful” and give her a fresh start.
  • Olivia Wilde – This is kind of a wildcard choice but one that seems to fit.  “Rush” and “Her” showed two different dynamics to her personality, and I’m not even sure she can sing yet but IF she can, then why not?  She’s got the mesmerizing eyes that would hypnotize the audience, along with a talent that hasn’t been truly recognized yet.  

What do you think of the adaptation?  Who do you want to play the key roles?

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Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of AwardsCircuit.com. Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times, CNN.com, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.