A couple of weeks back I bemoaned the fact that Wicked was taking forever to reach movie screens; in that article - which was about an adaptation of the Broadway musical - I mentioned that ABC had the rights to the original source book for a non-musical adaptation. Well, it looks like ABC is finally going to do something with it.
The network is teaming with Salma Hayek’s production company to do an eight hour miniseries version of the book; Erik Jendresen, who wrote four episodes of Band of Brothers, will be on screenplay duty. There are some pretty big differences between the book and the musical, and with eight hours at its disposal I’m assuming the miniseries will delve into some of the semi-Byzantine political stuff that was going on in Gregory Maguire’s original novel.
Wicked is the prequel story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. Born green and saddled with a lifetime of problems, Elphaba is a crusader for the rights of talking Animals and is an enemy of the Wizard of Oz. Maguire’s book recasts the accepted struggle of good and evil in Oz and makes us rethink just who was on the side of the angels, and just how wicked that witch really was.
If this is a success there’s a whole series of Alternate Oz novels by Maguire, including Son of a Witch and A Lion Among Men, which tells the story of the Cowardly Lion.
So I guess it’s time to start fancasting. This is going to be grittier and darker than the Broadway Wicked (or the Universal film, should it ever get going - and this could hurt it). Who do you see in the roles? Who makes a good Wicked Witch of the West?