Stephen Daldry Exits ‘Wicked’ Adaptation at Universal

Musical based on “The Wizard of Oz” does not have a release date

Last Updated: October 20, 2020 @ 4:09 PM

Stephen Daldry has stepped away as the director of Universal’s adaptation of the Broadway hit “Wicked,” an individual with knowledge told TheWrap.

Universal had previously removed “Wicked” from its release calendar as part of the COVID-19 pandemic after originally being slated for release on December 22, 2021.

No cast has been set for the film as of yet. Marc Platt is producing, while original Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz and musical book writer Winnie Holzman wrote the screenplay.

“Wicked,” based on Gregory Maguire’s unauthorized 1995 prequel novel to “The Wizard of Oz,” charts the unlikely friendship between Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba, who would become the Wicked Witch of the West. The musical first debuted in San Francisco and Broadway in 2003 and has since become one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history, surpassing over $1 billion in total Broadway revenue.

The show was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, including for stars Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, and is well known for iconic anthems like “Defying Gravity.”

Daldry, who most recently directed a handful of episodes of “The Crown” for Netflix, earned Oscar nominations for his work on 2000’s “Billy Elliot,” 2002’s “The Hours” and 2008’s “The Reader.” He also picked up Tony Awards for directing “An Inspector Calls” and the 2009 stage musical version of “Billy Elliot.” Last week, he earned another Tony nomination for directing the two-part drama “The Inheritance.”

Deadline first reported the news.