In a shocking move, the movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical Cats has been given a December 2019 release date. The movie has reportedly taken the release slot of the movie adaptation of Wicked, which now appears to be delayed.
While the delay of Wicked is certainly disappointment to a number of Broadway fans who have anxiously awaited the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical since it first premiered in 2003, the delay frankly isn't too surprising. Unlike Cats, Wicked has had little-to-no development reported since it was first announced, despite the movie's release previously being about a year away. Presumably, Universal Pictures has been taking their time with Wicked in order to get the job done right. Wicked is one of the most highly anticipated stage-to-screen adaptations of the next few years, so the stakes are high for Universal to make the movie perfect.
Cats, on the other hand, has been moving rather efficiently through its development and pre-production phases. The movie has locked Academy Award winner Tom Hooper to direct, who has previously directed Les Miserables, The Danish Girl, and The King's Speech. Hooper is no stranger to directing dramas or directing musicals, so there's no question that he will be able to pull off the on-screen adaptation of Cats with elegance and grace. Cats will more than likely be a difficult movie to pull off, based on its bizarre concept about street cats, so Tom Hooper is surely the best man for the job.
Cats already has a few stars lined up, including Sir Ian McKellen, Into the Woods's James Corden, country and pop singer Taylor Swift, and Academy Award nominee Jennifer Hudson. All four of these actors will bring a lot of star power to the mix, which surely makes the production look a lot more promising to Universal. This would explain why they moved the release date up, as based on their current standings, Cats looks as though it will bring in a lot more at the box office than Wicked, which doesn't even have a single actor lined up at the moment.
There is no word at this time as to when the Wicked movie will see the light of day. Though the movie isn't cancelled, its development appears to be indefinitely on hold, which is certainly not good news for the fans who have been waiting a long time to see the movie. While it's possible that Wicked could release in December 2020, there is no confirmation at this time. Many movie musicals have released in December every year, with La La Land, The Greatest Showman, and Les Miserables being the most notable movie musical December releases of the past ten years.
Based on the announcements made by Universal so far, it's unlikely that Wicked will release in any other month other than December. The year appears to be the only thing up for question right now. Though Wicked fans will likely have to wait quite a bit now, according to Deadline, the movie adaptation of Cats looks as though it will be quite entertaining, and is sure to tide Broadway fans over when it releases in theaters next December.