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The long-delayed adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Wicked may finally be making some progress on its long, circuitous, twister-like path to the screen. First announced nearly a decade ago, the film has cycled through directors and stalled out in development hell on numerous occasions. If only making movies were as easy as clicking your heels together three times and saying “There’s no place like home.”

Wicked may finally be back on track with the news that Jon M. Chu is ready to direct the project. Deadline says it is an accident of good timing on the part of the movie and Chu as well:

Last fall, Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry left the project after the studio was looking to move fast on the long-awaited adaptation. Around the same time, Chu had to part ways with Disney+’s new Willow series he was planning to direct due to issues with Covid-19 that kept pushing production. On top of that, Chu is expecting a baby. With Chu’s schedule open and Wicked looking for a director, the timing worked out for both sides.

Chu’s last movie was another Broadway adaptation, of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights. Although it was originally scheduled for release in June of 2020, it’s still postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s currently planned for a theatrical release (and same-day HBO Max premiere) on June 18, 2021. With Broadway itself still shut down and audiences starved for live theater, it could be a great time for the movie musical to make a comeback.

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