John M Chu, the movie’s director, revealed on Tuesday (26 April) that the first part will premiere on 25 December 2024, with the second half scheduled to debut a year later on 25 December 2025.
In Chu’s statement on social media he explained the choice, writing: “It became impossible to wrestle the story of ‘Wicked’ into a single film without doing some real damage to it.
“As we tried to cut songs or trim characters, those decisions began to feel like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years.”
While Chu felt that the split would offer more space to “tell the story of Wicked as it was meant to be told,” many fans on Twitter have opposed his solution, with one labelling it as “utterly unnecessary”.
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) April 26, 2022
“Weird how they managed to fit wicked into... one musical this whole time but now that it’ll be a movie it’s gotta be split in two,” wrote another.
One suggested to “just make it one movie and make it longer. Stop with this bulls*** that a movie needs to be an hour and a half long”.
“What motivated you to split the Wicked movie adaptation into 2 movies?”
What he said: “For the fans and for the best adaptation possible”
What he meant: pic.twitter.com/GSVI531ulc
— Jacob Finn Hughes (@JacobHughes95) April 26, 2022
“Who wants to watch a 2-Part musical?” someone questioned.
“People have been sitting through this three hour musical since I was in middle school lmao why are adaptations to film so weird, just put an intermission in the film you silly freakin gooses,” one user tweeted.
Many felt the decision was simply a money making tactic: “Making money at its finest.”
Wicked, part one, will be released in cinemas on 25 December 2024.
The film is an adaptation of a 2003 musical, which is turn based on the 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. That book took inspiration from L Frank Baum’s 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and the iconic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.