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The Wicked Film Adaptation: What We Hope to See




Wicked is all about adaptations. The original story began as a novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by L. Frank Baum and published in 1900. The book was then adapted into the two-time Oscar-winning film in 1939, The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland in her famous role as Dorothy. The Broadway musical, however, is based on the prequel novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.

Maguire’s rendition of the world of Oz is a political commentary written from the perspective of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West — the sister of the Wicked Witch of the East, whom Dorothy would eventually reduce to a puddle — who befriends Glinda, The Good Witch (Kristin Chenoweth). The hit Broadway production nabbed three prestigious Tony Awards for set design, costume design, and Best Actress (Idina Menzel), as well as a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

Needless to say, Broadway fans and critics alike have been anxiously awaiting the release of the Wicked musical film, directed by Jon M. Chu. In development since 2004 and initially anticipated for release in December 2021, the production has been delayed due to major staff changes, location changes, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Wicked was slated to be directed by Tony winner Stephen Daldry, but he left the project in 2020. Often regarded as one of the best Broadway shows of all time, the Wicked film adaptation has set very high standards for quality and execution. Fans expect a performance to rival that of the powerhouse duo Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth and their critically-acclaimed Broadway performance. Here is what we hope to see when the film is finally released.

From the director who brought Crazy Rich Asians to the big screen, Wicked will feature Academy Awards nominee Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Ariana Grande as Glinda. The casting choice was announced to excited fans in November 2021. Each actor has established herself as talented, but will they measure up to Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth’s ambitious precedent? Chu seems to think so, as both Erivo and Grande’s auditions moved him to tears, offering promising foresight. Additionally, Chenoweth, who holds a Primetime Emmy for her supporting work in Pushing Daisies (2007), has expressed her approval of Grande’s casting as Glinda.

Related: Why the Bob’s Burgers Movie Must Be a Musical

Menzel, who provides the spellbinding voice of Elsa in Disney’s Academy Award-winning film Frozen, is well-known for her iconic Broadway role as Elphaba. Her performance is legendary within the theater community. She was on the circuit for 16 months and is strongly associated with Wicked due to her phenomenal portrayal. Her performance earned her a Tony Award for Best Actress, and fans still talk about that high note she hits so beautifully in her solo at the end of “Defying Gravity,” which she performs with Chenoweth. Conceived by Grammy Award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz, “Defying Gravity” has raked in over 16 million views on YouTube. The song is also a featured performance on Ryan Murphy’s hit drama, Glee. Thanks to the impressive groundwork laid by Menzel and Chenoweth, the stakes are considerably high for the Wicked film to achieve the success and merit of its original Broadway production. Erivo and Grande have big, shiny red shoes to fill.

There have been a number of successful film adaptations of popular Broadway musicals. Chicago (2002) won six Oscars. The Sound of Music swept the Tony Awards, including Best Musical; the film adaptation, starring Julie Andrews, won five Oscars. Les Misérables scored two Tony Awards, and its 2012 film adaptation won three Academy Awards. The Broadway production of West Side Story won two Tony Awards, and the 2022 film was nominated for Best Picture. The list goes on; there is no shortage of great musical movies based on Broadway hits. For well over a decade, fans have been calling for a Wicked movie. We can only hope that with all the time the crew has spent on production and all the pressure from other success stories, Wicked will maintain its acclaim and blow people’s minds.

The film, officially announced to the public in 2016, has only attached its leading actors so far as of last November. Although the role of Fiyero has not yet been cast, there was a fan-made petition created shortly after the first casting announcement that begs Universal Studios not to cast James Corden, who has been featured in other Broadway film adaptations such as Cats and Into the Woods. Fans are still eagerly anticipating the full cast list. At the SAG awards, Erivo shared that the film adaptation will differ only slightly from the original. She seems to believe that new additions will elevate the production without detracting from the original. Schwartz has also revealed that there will be new songs. Naturally, this warrants some hesitation, but he composed Broadway’s GRAMMY-winning musical album, so fans rightly have high hopes for the new tunes.

Related: Best Movie Musicals of the 21st Century, So Far

According to Erivo, she and Grande will begin rehearsals this July. Hopefully, this means that filming will swiftly follow. People are speculating that the film will finally be released to movie theaters sometime in 2023 or 2024. Because of how thoughtful and methodical the development process has been, it is evident that the showrunners are intent on delivering a carefully crafted, Oscar-worthy film to rival the success of the original Broadway production.



Movie Reviews

Candy: Where Are They Now?



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With Hulu’s ‘Candy’ revisiting the horrific tale of Betty Gore’s 1980 murder at the hands of her friend Candy Montgomery, every crucial aspect of the matter is brought to light once again. These include everything from the elementary school teacher’s last days to the motives behind the Texan housewife’s actions to the results of its ensuing legal proceedings, among much more. So now that we know the surprising note on which this case eventually came to a close back in 1980 itself, let’s find out precisely what its central players are up to these days, shall we?

Where is Candy Montgomery Now?

Image Credit: KXAS-TV

While it’s irrefutable that Candy Montgomery struck Betty a total of 41 times with a 3-foot-long ax inside the latter’s own home, she has always insisted she did so in self-defense and nothing more. She even testified that the overkill was a result of trauma-driven disassociation rather than her previous affair with the victim’s husband Allan, leading the jury to acquit her of murder on October 29, 1980. Thus, today, reportedly having gone back to using her maiden name, Candace Wheeler resides in Georgia, where she serves as a mental health counselor for teens and adults alike.

Where is Pat Montgomery Now?

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Image Credit: Dallas Morning News

Pat Montgomery had purportedly stood by his wife, the mother of his two adorable children, at every step of the way because of the belief that her infidelities were purely physical. However, things began to crumble apart for the couple once the family relocated to Georgia in an attempt to start a new life together, and they divorced a mere four years later (around 1984). Pat has since preferred to maintain his distance from the public eye in every way imaginable, yet it is believed that he (in his 70s) proudly goes by the name James these days.

Where is Allan Gore Now?

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Image Credit: Tina Rowden/Hulu (Pablo Schreiber as Allan Gore)

Allan Gore’s affair with Candy was at the front and center of his wife’s case, especially with him revealing the details to the authorities before seemingly claiming that their parting was amicable. He was heartbroken to lose Betty, yet reports suggest he had not only stayed in touch with Candy for a while but had also remarried in the small window between the brutal incident and the trial. Coming to his current whereabouts, the widower (and divorcee) has truly moved on with his life — he’s enjoying his retirement alongside a new domestic partner in Sarasota, Florida.

Where Are Betty and Allan Gore’s Children Now?

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Allan Gore lost custody of both his daughters to his late wife’s parents despite having remarried, which means Alisa and Bethany (Christina and Valerie in the series) grew up estranged from their father. However, their social media platforms indicate they’ve since reconnected to form at least a little bit of a healthy, positive relationship even though they are states apart.

While Alisa (or Lisa Harder) presently works in the oil & energy industry in Newton, Kansas, as well as shares a pig farm with her husband and their two sons, Bethany Mickey is a happily married mother of three residing in Las Vegas, Nevada. The latter has followed in her mother’s footsteps to become an educator.

Where is Don Crowder Now?

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Image Credit: MTC/Find A Grave

Following his astonishing win in court for Candy, Don Crowder undeniably became an attorney to watch out for in Collin County, Texas. He actually ran for governor in 1986, managed to expand his practice significantly, and even opened up a sports bar called Gameday in Plano in 1991. Yet things changed for the worse in 1997, when he turned to alcohol for solace after the restaurant closed its doors and he lost his brother in an accidental self-shooting.

Don’s short temper, depression, and alleged undiagnosed bipolar disorder (as per Raúl Esparza, who plays him in the Hulu original) ended up getting the best of him. Not only did the once renowned lawyer find himself receiving a Driving While Intoxicated charge on June 21, 1998, but he sadly also came to believe that the world would be a better place without him. So on November 10, 1998, the 56-year-old took his own life by firing a single shot directly to the head.

Read More: Did Candy and Pat Have Kids in Real Life?



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Movie News

Tom Cruise Awarded Honorary Palme d’Or At Cannes as Top Gun: Maverick Gets 5-Minute Standing Ovation



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After four years, Tom Cruise is making his big-screen return with the upcoming action blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick. The film is a direct and long-awaited sequel to the 1986 classic Top Gun and continues naval aviator Pete “Maverick” Mitchell’s story as he trains a new generation of fighter pilots. Top Gun: Maverick premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival recently, and the film’s reception seems to have taken everyone by surprise, including Tom Cruise.

Tom Cruise has been in the industry for four decades and is one of the most famous Hollywood stars in the world. Known for his good looks and incredible charisma, Tom Cruise started his career with comedies like Risky Business but soon established himself as an action star with films like Top Gun, Days of Thunder, and the Mission Impossible series. The veteran actor was honored at Cannes for his many contributions to films. As the Top Gun: Maverick cast made their way onto the red carpet, eight French fighter jets performed a flyby, painting the sky red, white, and blue as Cruise and the rest of the cast looked up in awe.

Just before the screening of Top Gun: Maverick, the attendees were shown a tribute reel with all of Tom Cruise’s greatest highlights. The crowd cheered as the Rainman star took the stage, and he was presented with a surprise honorary Palme d’Or, the festival’s highest award. Cruise, who seemed genuinely taken aback by the gesture, addressed the audience in a heartfelt speech (via Variety):

Related: These Are the Best Tom Cruise Movies, Ranked

Tom Cruise made his Cannes comeback after 30 years, and it appears that Top Gun: Maverick may become the first mega-budget action film to win the best picture Oscar. The film has received overwhelming acclaim from critics and is currently sitting on a 97% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score. That is quite impressive and especially for an action movie (not made by Marvel or DC) nowadays, as they often turn out to be divisive.

However, Top Gun: Maverick received a five-minute standing ovation at Cannes, which is probably the first for an action movie since 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. Per reports, the crowd was quite interactive and frequently gasped and cheered at the spectacular stunts. But the loudest applause came during a scene featuring Val Kilmer and Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick together. As impatient as that makes everyone to see the duo reunite after 36 years, fans will have to wait till Memorial Day to check out the long-awaited legacy sequel.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski and written by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie, Top Gun: Maverick also stars Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Miles Teller, Monica Barbaro, Glen Powell, and Jon Hamm.

Top Gun: Maverick flies into theaters worldwide on May 27, 2022.



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