After being in talks for quite a few years, a Universal Studios film based on the smash Broadway musical Wicked is now coming to fruition. According to Deadline New York, the musical's book writer Winnie Holzman, producer Marc Platt, and songwriter Stephen Schwartz have started to meet with various directors. These include but are not limited to J.J. Abrams (Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek), James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma, Knight and Day), Rob Marshall (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha, Nine) and Ryan Murphy (Running with Scissors, Pretty/Handsome, Eat Pray Love).
Interestingly enough, Universal also has several other musicals in the works, including a Mamma Mia! sequel and films based on the Tony Award-winning stage musicals Billy Elliott and In the Heights.
Based on this list of potential directors, let's check each of them out to see how this would probably work.
J.J. Abrams Pros: Experience with projects about the supernatural and strange (TV's Lost); can adapt well-known projects while appeasing to old fans and gaining new ones (Star Trek) Cons: Projects tend to have an action-adventure foundation (Alias, Lost, Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek) Film Would Likely Be: A musical with a heavy emphasis on action/adventure. Maybe we find out that Galinda and Elphaba were dead the whole time? Suitability for the Project: 5/10 James Mangold Pros: Directed two actresses to Oscars (Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted; Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line) Cons: Doesn't have an expansive filmography, especially when it comes to successful blockbusters; Might be too "technical" or stiff of a director to pull off a musical, though Walk the Line somewhat counts as a musical. Film Would Likely Be: Technically impressive but might miss the mark on the fun and whimsy of the stage musical. Suitability for the Project: 4/10
Rob Marshall Pros: Has three musicals to his name (Annie, Chicago, Nine); only one of the supposed contenders to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Director; most critically acclaimed film is the Best Picture-winning Chicago; has done wonders with actresses. Cons: Although it scored some Oscar nods, Nine was wretched. It was only his second theatrical musical. Is he a one hit wonder in the film musical department? Film Would Likely Be: True to the source material, if not a bit too "stagey" for its own good. Suitability for the Project: 8/10
Ryan Murphy Pros: Very theatrical director; creator and main director for the most popular musical/comedy series in awhile (Glee) Cons: Not very much experience in film, no less blockbusters (least experienced of the bunch) Film Would Likely Be: A fun movie to watch; fluff at best. Suitability for the Project: 8/10
Now that we've examined the directors that are supposedly in the running, who do you think would be the perfect fit to direct Wicked?
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