The director took to his Instagram Stories on Wednesday to reveal that production on the movie has been paused “until the strike is over,” and that filming was actually almost finished before SAG-AFTRA took to the picket lines.
“We were only a few days from being done so we were SO close,” Chu wrote. “It’s been very painful to put a halt to it all but we will be back! And we will finish properly strong when the time is right.”
He continued, “My heart goes out to our cast and crew who were cut short of what we came here to complete together. More to come but in the meantime I’m excited to excavate what we have shot for the past year here in Oz. … It has been an extraordinary adventure… more to do.”
Most details surrounding the highly-anticipated film, starring Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo, have been kept under wraps. But Chu did give fans a first look in April at their characters in the live-action musical adaptation of Wicked.
Chu added that the release date for Wicked: Part 1, which is currently set for Nov. 27, 2024, shouldn’t be impacted by the strike. The second film is set to debut Nov. 26, 2025.
Actors joined writers, who have been on strike since the beginning of May, on the picket lines last week after contract negotiations collapsed with studios and streamers.
The director also showed his support for SAG-AFTRA’s strike in his post, writing, “Much love” to the film’s cast and “our other beloved SAG members who are fighting for a fair deal! We stand with you.”
Wicked isn’t the only movie to be impacted by the actors strike. Marvel’s Deadpool 3, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator sequel and Tom Cruise’s eighth Mission: Impossible movie are among the projects currently on hold.