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'Wicked' to be split into 2 movies, first coming December 2024

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Jon M. Chu is turning "Wicked" into two movies. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/38764aaa32c6ba6baa72a1046ef761ce/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Jon M. Chu is turning "Wicked" into two movies. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

April 26 (UPI) -- Jon M. Chu announced on his social media Tuesday that his movie adaptation of Wicked will be split into two films. The first film is scheduled for release December 2024.

Chu cited misgivings about attempting to condense the Broadway musical into a single film's running time. The show's official site lists the running time as 2 hours and 45 minutes.

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"As we tried to cut songs or trim characters, those decisions began to feel like fatal compromises to the source material," Chu wrote. "With more space, we 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."

Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo will play Glinda and Elphaba, the witches of Oz. Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel originated those roles on Broadway.

Chu said rehearsals will begin prior to filming and he plans to share updates on production and post-production. Chu also directed the musical In the Heights, the dance movies Step Up 2 the Streets and Step Up 3D, and the comedy Crazy Rich Asians.

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Wicked premiered on Broadway in 2003. Winnie Holzman wrote the book and Stephen Schwartz the music and lyrics, adapted from Gregory Maguire's 1995 novel about the relationship between the two witches.

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