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Why Fans Are Divided Over Jon M. Chu's Latest Wicked Movie Update

In a recent post on his Twitter account, director Jon M. Chu made the rather unexpected announcement that his adaptation of "Wicked" would be split into two feature-length films instead of just one. Additionally, per Deadline, the first part is set to release on December 25, 2024, while part two will release on the same day in 2025. It's a fairly ambitious plan for a musical adaptation, especially considering that musical films haven't exactly been box office hits as of late. Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" only made $75 million worldwide (per Box Office Mojo), while Chu's own "In the Heights" musical made around $43 million (according to The Numbers).

However, "Wicked" does potentially have a few things working in its favor. The movie is based on an extremely popular contemporary musical, which is itself based on a well-received book that is set in the world where "The Wizard of Oz" takes place. "The Wizard of Oz" is, of course, often regarded as a classic of cinema and there's a lot of history built in that may be enough to pull in general audiences for two films. However, it seems that fans are divided over this particular news.

Fans are divided over Wicked being split into two movies

While the news that "Wicked" will be split into two films has certainly made waves across social media, not all of the reception has been exactly positive. Responding to Jon M. Chu's post, @jsand42 expressed some concerns, especially given the original musical's relatively short runtime. "How is it that a ~2.5 hour stage musical (with a 15-20 minute intermission) doesn't fit into a ~2.5 hour movie?" they said. "I mean, that already gives you ~20 *more* minutes of time in the movie for the same material?" Others, such as @sydney_bug, believed that such a move would ruin the momentum of the story altogether, especially considering there's no natural point at which to split the story.

However, on the @Variety thread announcing the news, some expressed cautious optimism. Twitter user @DawsonMichaels5 pointed out that the musical is adapted from a novel, which leaves a lot of material not included in the stage version that could be included in either one (or both) of the movies. Others on the thread are maintaining a wait-and-see approach. However, it seems as if this latest decision to split "Wicked" into two films isn't exactly going over smoothly with some people on social media.