Splitting “Wicked” into two films has always been a controversial move, especially since the show only runs about two and a half hours (without the intermission). Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the songs for the original Broadway musical, has attempted to justify this decision in the past, stating that although “Defying Gravity” works very well in the original show at the end of the first act, anything that came after it in a film would feel “like” anticlimactic.” Producer Marc Platt also tried to justify the decision in an interview with Vanity Fair time to match the Super Bowl trailer:
“We didn't want to end up making a four-hour film and then cutting songs. We want to satisfy the fans of the musical. The film allows you to create a place and a time – a university like Shiz, an extraordinary Emerald City Governor's Mansion. There's a long more to explore.”
Hiding the fact that “Wicked” is two films makes sense for the trailer: audiences are hesitant to pay for just half the story. We saw this when “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” performed weaker than anticipated at the box office last year, spurring Paramount to release “Part One” for its release on Paramount+ and retitle its successor. However, that wasn't the case with “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which hid any indication that it was the first half of a double marketing campaign (just like “Dune”).
From a creative point of view, I'm also not convinced that this split is a good idea. The “Wicked” films will include all-new music and story material to fill out their running time, which feels a lot like Disney turning one of its 90-minute animated classics into a bloated two-hour-plus live-action film. subject. I hope I'm wrong about this.
“Wicked: Part One” hits theaters on November 27, 2024, with “Part Two” in 2025.