Here’s something that hasn’t been done with a musical before: Universal will release its feature take on the smash Broadway musical Wicked in two parts on December 25, 2024 and December 25, 2025. It’s a bold swing for a musical, which of late have been risky onscreen. However, this one is based on a legacy crowd-pleaser.

Jon M. Chu is directing the untold story of the Witches of Oz, starring Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo. The pic is based on the bestselling novel by Gregory Maguire and adapted for the screen by the stage production’s book writer Winne Holzman and Oscar-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz.

Typically those movies getting broken into two parts have been blockbuster-level YA films based on books, i.e. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. While those were huge successes, the plan faltered with Lionsgate’s third Divergent movie, Allegiant, which tanked at the box office with $66M domestic and $179M global. The second half of that Shailene Woodley movie never was made, given how that pic fell apart, but the situation there was that the third Veronica Roth Divergent novel divided fans greatly.

Knock on wood, but working to Wicked’s advantage is that it’s a near $3 billion-grossing Broadway musical seen by more than 30 million people worldwide.

Written By By Anthony D'Alessandro for Deadline

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