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'Wicked' film a step closer as studio eyes Stephen Daldry to direct

July 13, 2012|By Jamie Wetherbe
  • A scene from the 2007 production of "Wicked," starring Megan Hilty, left, and Eden Espinosa at the Pantages in Hollywood.
A scene from the 2007 production of "Wicked," starring Megan… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

Tony winner and Oscar nominee Stephen Daldry is the new front-runner to direct Universal’s screen adaption of the blockbuster musical "Wicked."

The studio and the musical’s producer Marc Platt have considered several contenders to head the project, including J.J. Abrams, Rob Marshall, James Mangold and, more recently, "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy. Now the studio is courting Daldry, Deadline.com reported.

Daldry has helmed hits for Hollywood and Broadway. He won Tonys for directing "Billy Elliot"  and "An Inspector Calls." He has been nominated for Oscars three times, for "The Reader," "The Hours" and "Billy Elliot."

Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, "Wicked" is a prequel to "The Wizard of Oz" and follows the unlikely friendship between two witches, the fair-skinned Glinda and the green-skinned Elphaba, whose tones match their temperaments.

"Wicked" has proved evergreen with audiences: Nine years since its opening, the musical continues to fill houses on Broadway and in London's West End and is contiually touring North America.

Musicals-turned-movies have a been a mixed bag at the box office as of late: "Mamma Mia!"and "Chicago" proved hits, while"Rock of Ages"and "Nine"didn't fare as well.

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