Director Jon M. Chu has provided an update on the production status of Wicked amidst the ongoing Screen Actors Guild (SAG) strike.
In a statement shared on his Instagram Story on Wednesday, the 43-year-old director reassured fans that the release date of Wicked: Part One is not expected to be affected by the strike, as the film was on the verge of completion before the work stoppage.
“We’re not done yet. We’ve just paused until the strike is over, allowing us to finish the remaining portions of the movie,” Chu wrote. “We were just a few days away from wrapping up production, so we were incredibly close. It’s been quite challenging to put everything on hold, but we’ll be back!”
Chu expressed his determination to finish the film strongly once the time is right. Filmed in England during the spring, the production holds a special place in his heart, and he empathized with the cast and crew who were unable to complete their work as planned.
However, Chu remained excited about the project, assuring fans that the release date in Oz (Britain) is not likely to be affected.
In his Instagram post, Chu tagged several cast members, including Ariana Grande, Cynthia Erivo, Michelle Yeoh, and Jeff Goldblum, sending “much love” to these “beloved SAG members who are fighting for a fair deal!” The director made it clear that he stands in solidarity with them during this challenging time.
The SAG-AFTRA strike has caused disruptions in the entertainment industry, leading to the suspension of numerous major Hollywood film productions, including Wicked. The strike was prompted by failed contract negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
As per a memo sent to SAG members by union president Fran Drescher and national executive director and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, guild members are prohibited from performing “principal on-camera work,” which includes acting, singing, dancing, stunts, piloting on-camera aircraft, puppeteering, and performance capture or motion capture work.
The strike also extends to re-recording dialogue, voice acting, narration, and stunt coordination.
Despite the challenges posed by the strike, Wicked: Part One is set to enchant audiences in British cinemas on November 27, 2024, while the second film is expected to be released on November 26, 2025.