Get ready for some Oz overload. Joining Robert Downey Jr’s Great And Powerful Oz; Drew Barrymore‘s Oz sequel, Surrender Dorothy; the animated Dorothy Of Oz; the vague Polish Bros. film that’s supposedly in the works; and Todd McFarlane‘s dark and steampunky reimagining for Warner Bros., is Wicked, Universal Studio’s adaptation of the Broadway musical. Wicked, which focuses on a young Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda, seems like the most obvious choice for an Oz spin-off, since the sparkly musical has made millions of dollars from the ever-generous teenage girls audience. Universal finally seems to be getting the ball rolling, however, and have announced 4 potential directors: Rob Marshall (Chicago), Ryan Murphy (Glee), James Mangold (Walk The Line) and JJ Abrams (Star Trek). Each director has met with producer Marc Platt, writer Winnie Holzman (of My So-Called Life) and songwriter Stephen Schwartz to discuss the film.
The Wicked production is considering an unusual variety of directors for the musical. The obvious choice is Marshall, who’s known for making successful and epic musicals (ignoring Nine, of course). The strangest candidate is Abrams, who is usually known for his genre fare, though he did write a musical episode for Fringe this season. Murphy’s also an obvious choice, since Glee’s staged Wicked hit Defying Gravity and and had original stars Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth on the show in recurring roles. Mangold has a very diverse filmography, from Girl, Interrupted to Kate and Leopold, but he has some musical experience with Walk The Line.
With the complete saturation of Oz films going into production, it’s inevitable that some are going to get pushed to the wayside. Since Wicked has a built-in fanbase and a well known-name, so it’s the only Oz project that I think we’ll definitely see at some point.