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Stephen Schwartz: Houdini's on Hold But the Wicked Movie's in the Works

Stephen Schwartz: Houdini's on Hold But the Wicked Movie's in the Works
Stephen Schwartz
Stephen Schwartz is 'having a blast' working on the 'Wicked' movie.

Pippin and Wicked legend Stephen Schwartz has confirmed that the Houdini musical may be on hold but that the Wicked movie is in the works. Really. He told about the silver screen adapation of Elphaba and friends: “We're starting to do some work on it. We've actually started gearing up on it a little bit.”

The Houdini halt is no big surprise. Hugh Jackman dropped out of the project late last year. “I think he didn't really understand, to be perfectly honest, how much work a brand-new musical takes,” Schwartz said. The movie megastar joined a long list of artists who have left the project, which was first announced by producers Scott Sanders and David Rockwell in April 2008. Past creatives who departed the bio-musical include original composer Danny Elfman, original lyricist David Yazbek, original librettist Kurt Andersen and replacement librettist Aaron Sorkin.

And what about the long-brewing Wicked movie, which has had everyone from Harry Styles as Fiyero to Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry rumored to be involved? “I don't know exactly how many years away it is,” Schwartz conceded. However the creatives involved are “actually having a blast” figuring out how you “use a whole new language and medium to tell the story.”

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