“Wicked” composer Stephen Schwartz confirmed in an interview with Variety that production was shut down with just 10 days remaining to complete filming for Parts 1 and 2 of the film adaptation.
Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics for the original musical and collaborated again with book writer Winnie Holzman for the film adaptation, which stars Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and Ariana Grande as Glinda.
Schwartz acknowledged that the timing was frustrating, he also expressed his solidarity with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.
“Wicked” director Jon M. Chu posted on his Instagram story and tweeted about how close the production was to being completed. “We were only a few days away from being done so we were SO close. It’s been very painful to put a halt to it all but we will be back!” Chu wrote. “We stand with you,” he expressed to the “Wicked” actors on strike.
Chu also shared on Instagram that the halt to production should not affect the film’s release date. “Wicked Part 1” is scheduled to hit theaters on Nov. 27, 2024, with “Part 2” on Nov. 26, 2025.
Sources added that the Universal film was “almost done” with production.
Schwartz also spoke of the important issues at stake for writers and actors on strike.
Schwartz did reveal that he was able to visit the set of the “Wicked” films, which were shooting on location in the U.K. He praised the meticulous production design by Nathan Crowley.
“The sets are amazing. It’s like the old days of building these giant sets on a back lot or on a soundstage. It’s not green screen sets…They’re actually built and they’re amazing. The attention to detail kind of boggled my mind, when I would see just little labels on things or titles on books in a library and you know the camera’s never going to see this. And yet, they’re all very written out and specific to Oz, and to the characters…I was not expecting, frankly, that level of attention to detail, and it’s pretty exciting to see.” Schwartz said.
In addition to visiting the set, Schwartz has worked alongside Erivo and Grande in the recording studio in the making of the soundtrack and pre-recorded vocals.