The Wicked story sure is popular
I am a big fan of the Wicked story. First a book, then a Broadway musical, the Wicked story covers the other side of The Wizard of Oz, told from the point of view of the Wicked Witch of the West (here named Elphaba). For those that have neither read the book nor seen the musical, I will clue you in on very crucial fact: Other than the very basic outlines of characters and plot, the two are vastly different. I’ve been rooting for the big screen version in production over at Universal seemingly forever now, but it looks like there is a new player in this particular game.
Mike Ausiello, at his brand spanking new website TVLine, reports that ABC is working on a Salma Hayek helmed mini-series adaptation of the book. Set to be eight hours, the plot would logically cover Elphie’s years in school, time as a political dissident, and whatever the last third of the book is about — seriously, I’ve read it twice, and I’m still not entirely sure what was going on. There is certainly enough story there for eight hours, but the question is obvious: Is there room enough in the pop culture landscape for both stories?
Well, on its own, the answer is probably not. But when you factor other Oz related projects currently in production, including one with Robert Downey Jr. attached that focuses on the Wizard’s story, the answer is no … definitely no … positively no … decidedly no (and there goes my musical reference of the post). There might be enough room for two of these stories, but I think more might be a stretch. And as much as I would easily pick the two Wicked properties, I doubt both would be viable projects.
So which (ha!) has the advantage? The TV production is being written by Erik Jendresen, who penned several of my favorite Band of Brothers installments, so that is definitely a plus. Plus, I have been begging for more “Event Television” for as long as I can remember, and a four-part mini-series would most certainly fit the bill; but, for those who’ve not seen the musical, it is — excuse the pun — magical. It is one of the best musicals I’ve ever seen on stage, and I’d love to have a version I can pop into ye ‘ole DVD player anytime I’d like. And, there exists the most no-brainer piece of casting ever for Elphaba (I’m looking at you, Lea Michele), and a bit of dream casting I’d love to see for Glinda (Kristen Bell has singing chops, too, boys and girls).