Wicked Director Clarifies Where Things Stand With Film As Actors' Strike Halts Production

Filmmaker Jon M Chu has spoken out about the long-awaited movie, which stars Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande.
Cynthia Erivo in Wicked
Cynthia Erivo in Wicked

Wicked director Jon M Chu has spoken out after work on the project was paused due to the ongoing Hollywood actors’ strike.

Filming on the long-awaited big screen version of Wicked – which is being split into two parts – began in London last year, and is now on hold while the members of its cast in the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA are on strike.

However, in a post shared on social media, Jon insisted that they are “not done yet”, and instead are just “paused until the strike is over and we can finish the last pieces of the movie”.

Jon also assured fans of the musical that the film’s winter 2024 release date “shouldn’t be affected” by the strike action.

Jon M Chu
Jon M Chu
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

“We were only a few days away from being done so we were SO close,” he explained.

“It’s been very painful to put a halt to it all but we will be back! And we will finish properly strong when the time is right.

“My heart goes out to our cast and crew who were cut short of what we came here to complete together. More to come but in the meantime I’m excited to excavate what we have shot for the past year here in Oz (release date shouldn’t be affected).”

Jon concluded: “It has been an extraordinary adventure… more to do.”

The post was also shared by Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande on their respective Instagram stories.

Cynthia and Ariana play the leads Elphaba and Glinda in the new film, which tells the story of The Wizard Of Oz from the perspective of the Wicked Witch Of The West.

Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo
Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo
Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images | Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty Images

Meanwhile, Wicked songwriter Stephen Schwartz admitted to Variety: “It’s quite frustrating in a way because we have, I think, 10 days worth of shooting to go finish all the shooting for both movies…

“But on the other hand, I might as well declare it, I’m in great sympathy and support of the unions that are striking.”

Since the strike was announced last week, Wicked cast members Ariana Grande and Jonathan Bailey were spotted watching the Wimbledon final together over the weekend.


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