Deadline are reporting that director Stephen Daldry has left the screen adaptation of hit stage show Wicked.
The film has been in development since at least 2016, but due to scheduling conflicts and other problems it is still in pre-production hell.
The movie was originally scheduled for release on December 20th 2019, ironically the same release date as Cats, another stage to screen adaption which was hit with a very harsh critical panning.
Universal, who own the screen rights, will still go ahead with the adaptation, but they wanted to proceed faster than Daldry was moving ahead with development, and as Deadline reports there is currently no sound stage in the UK free for production to start, and the director was keen to film in England.
There is no need to worry as there are a number of high profile directors ready to take over, including Steven Spielberg who is keen to adapt another stage show after he directed West Side Story, which has been delayed until December 2021.
23rd September 2020
We all knew it was coming but hoped that maybe somehow things would improve, but with the slow reopening of cinemas and paying audiences still not feeling safe many films have had their release schedules changed.
Among them are Black Widow, Eternals, Death On The Nile, Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and West Side Story, most of which have now gone into 2021 which at the moment seems like a safer bet.
Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson has changed to May 7th 2021 and is perhaps one of the biggest to have a change, this could still see a debut on Disney+ if things don't improve quick enough.
West Side Story from director Steven Spielberg has gone on a whole year to December 10th 2021, this originally set to be a big 2020 holiday movie and Oscar contender.
Interestingly Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Dune which was set to be released the same day has not (yet) moved from December 18th 2020.
Death On The Nile has moved to December 18th 2020, not into 2021 yet but it is the same day as Dune and (which I'm sure will move) and long awaited comedy sequel starring Eddie Murphy, Coming 2 America, although with no trailer or poster yet this will move to same time in 2021 at some point.
Eternals, another Marvel feature, has moved to later in 2021, November 5th, and also from Marvel Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has changed to July 9th.
With the UK about to go back into some kind of lockdown the state of cinemas is looking as uncertain as ever, it is being suggested that Tenet's box office was effected because Warner Bros. opened the movie when people were simply not ready to go back to the movies.
There needs to be a breakthrough in overcoming the virus and cinema chains regaining the trust of the public before things will truly recover and that could be more like the end of 2021 in reality.
Source of much of this story @GiteshPandya on twitter