Idina Menzel chatted with theater and film producer Marc Platt (Into the Woods, La La Land) at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Tribeca Talks series, where she told the audience she “probably won’t be” in the movie adaptation of the Broadway smash, Wicked.
“I’m gonna be way too old by the time [Platt] gets it done,” Menzel stated. “Unless he CGI’s it, and he knows how I feel about that – I really want him to do that.”
Wicked is based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Menzel originated the role of Elphaba - who becomes The Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West - on the 2003 Broadway show. She won the Best Actress in a Musical Tony award for her incredible performance.
The star has stated multiple times that she would love to be a part of the movie when it eventually gets made but has always maintained that she would be too old to play Elphaba. Two years ago, in an appearance on Watch What Happens Live she told host Andy Cohen that both she and Kristin Chenoweth, who played Glinda on the show, were told they were “a little over the age for that.”
The Wicked movie has been announced for a few years now, and last year Platt stated that it would probably get released in 2016, stating: “[A 2016 release date] is the goal, but I don’t know whether we’ll make that goal or not. We will make the movie, but like I said, the bar is really high. We’re going to scrutinise our work on the screenplay and our prep on the movie, and when we feel like it’s ready, okay. We’re not going to shoot a release date is what I’m saying. It’s in the works, it’s not in a rush. It took 27 years to make Into the Woods into a film from its original stage production, and 30 years with Les Mis. Some things take time for a reason.”
However, it seems now (almost mid-2016) that they will be taking more time for the movie, which is ok by me if that means it gets made properly.
There have been many reports about the eventual movie’s cast, with Glee and Scream Queens star Lea Michele being a frontrunner for Elphaba. One Direction’s Harry Styles has been rumored to play Fiyero.
I personally think Lea Michele can do no wrong and she would be an incredible Elphaba. She sings like an angel and has already proven she slays the Wicked songs by singing three of them on Glee, she has the acting chops to boot and is also a dead ringer for Idina Menzel, so much so that they played mother and daughter on Glee.
Regarding that Glee role, Idina Menzel said it was “bittersweet”, further commenting, “the gig came three months after I popped a baby out so I felt fat as all hell, and I was Lea Michele’s mom – like, could I just be her older sister? She wasn’t as young as she was playing [on the show] so it was like, really, I’m her mom? So it wasn’t good for my ego, I’ll be completely honest. I was happy to be there and work with those people, but I had to get over myself a little bit.”
She also said she learned a few tricks from Lea Michele - while playing her mom, Shelby Corcoran, on Glee - about how to sing on camera “because she didn’t move her mouth that much, but it looks real on the camera.”
Here’s my two cents regarding this Wicked news. I would love to have Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth appear in the movie in some capacity, even if they don’t get to play Elphaba and Glinda - but they are just too iconic to not be a part of it. I would also like to see the movie sometime in the near future. And finally, please, please cast people who can both sing and act (*cough* Lea Michele *cough*), don’t cast “bankable” actors who won’t do the characters, and the amazing songs of the musical, justice. Please and thank you.