Baz Luhrmann discusses Wicked - on stage and screen
BroadwayWorld.com recently interviewed Baz Luhrmann and discussed, amongst other things, his involvement in the rumoured movie version of Wicked. Read the full interview here.
PC: I just talked to Kristin Chenoweth about Kanye West sampling one of her tracks from WICKED. What do you think of WICKED and the Oz mythology?
BL: Hey! I come from a place called Oz! Ha! (Faux Laugh.)
BL: That's a little joke. (Pause.) Obviously, in my last film AUSTRALIA I used it thematically. When you grow up in Australia, Oz has different implications. Even as a child, I mean, they call Sydney the Emerald City.
PC: Of course.
BL: So, the idea, it‘s interesting you mention it... I love those Oz stories. I'm madly in love with them. I don't think I'm speaking out of school when I say that I have been approached many times to do, or to attempt, a sort of variant or some variations and films and things on THE WIZARD OF OZ. I haven't gone there - not because I don't think it can't be done, because I do. I think any classic work is there to be re-interpreted - the classic never changed. People get very frightened of that until someone makes it work.
PC: Exactly. And WICKED?
BL: Listen, what I think is wonderful, and the most wonderful achievement... to me, WICKED is just extraordinarily clever. Not just the celebration of WICKED - apart from all the obvious things. After all, it has got some of the absolute, show-stopping classics - and we know what they are!
BL: By the way, just so you know, believe it or not I just saw the show for the first time a week ago.
PC: You've been linked to it for so long!
BL: Crazy as it is - because other people have talked about, "Are you going to do WICKED as a film?"
PC: That's what I was going to ask!
BL: (Laughs.) Yes, that is definitely a rumor. It's for no other reason besides I've been in the desert for four years!
PC: Making AUSTRALIA!
BL: That's an exaggeration, of course, but I really haven't been around.
PC: AUSTRALIA is the size and scope of two films!
BL: First, the thing I want to say about WICKED is that what is so clever about the show - and, isn't it great that a music piece can not only be great storytelling, a huge entertainment and clever as well - was that it toys so powerfully and so brilliantly with, A., and iconic show we all know and love and know, but, B., with a perspective.
PC: What a great way to look at it!
BL: Yeah, that's the whole point of it, that you can flip perspective. I think that is very, very healthy to the culture of the musical.
PC: Without a doubt.
BL: I think that's great. Of course, THE WIZARD OF OZ is kind of like a religious icon when it comes to the cathedral of the musical. It's something very, very precious. I think someone - the right person - should do it.