After years and years of development, the Wicked movie, based on the hit Broadway musical, is finally happening. But here’s an unexpected twist — they’re not making a Wicked movie. They’re making two Wicked movies.

That announcement came from the director of the film(s), Jon M. Chu. He wrote on Twitter that as the crew prepared for production “it became increasingly clear that it would be impossible to wrestle the story of Wicked into a single film without doing some real damage to it.” They tried cutting songs and characters but decided that felt like “fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years.”

That’s where the notion of two movies came in. Chu says that will mean they can “tell the story of Wicked as it was meant to be told while bringing even more depth and surprise to the journeys of these beloved characters.” You can read his full statement below:

The key cast of Wicked includes Ariana Grande as Glinda the Good Witch and Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba, the Wicked (or not really so wicked) Witch of the West; the Broadway show reveals how the classic tale of The Wizard of Oz was not as cut-and-dry as it seemed.

According to Google, Wicked on Broadway runs 2 hours and 30 minutes plus a 15 minute intermission. That doesn’t seem too long for a single movie? I supposed if you are really focused on a kids’ audience and making sure they don’t get restless, a 150-minute movie might be pushing it. Then again Spider-Man: No Way Home was two hours and 28 minutes without an intermission and that just made almost $1.9 billion worldwide in theaters.

So is it really too long for one film? I guess we’ll see how people react to paying to see half the story in 2024.

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