The long-gestating film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical "Wicked" has been slated for a release on Dec. 20, 2019, Universal Pictures announced Thursday.
No cast has been set yet, but composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz will be working adaptation with writer Winnie Holzman. Both collaborated on the stage musical, which is based on Gregory Maguire's 1995 novel "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West."
The story imagines the world of "The Wizard of Oz" before Dorothy's arrival, focusing in on the tale of two witches, Glinda and Elphaba, who will grow up to become the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West.
The musical opened in 2003 and is said to have been seen by some 50 million people. The hugely popular show effectively introduced the broader public to stars Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel.
Stephen Daldry, best known for "Billy Elliott," is set to direct, and "Into the Woods'" Marc Platt will produce.
Universal Pictures is part of the NBCUniversal family.