The wait for the Wicked movies will definitely be worth it. Universal Studios has assembled an incredible director and all-star cast to lead the upcoming two-part film adaptation, based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway show which is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. A Wicked movie was announced way back in 2016, but it took until 2021 for the process to really get going. Crazy Rich Asians and In The Heights director Jon M. Chu signed onto the project and decided to split it up into two films. Ariana Grande is playing Glinda the Good Witch and Cynthia Erivo is playing Elphaba, who later becomes the Wicked Witch of the West.
Fans are so excited to see the story of Wicked come to life on the big screen this time. From the talented cast to the teases we’ve gotten from the director, the expectations are very high for these two films. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming Wicked movies.
Wicked Movies Release Dates
The first Wicked movie, titled Wicked: Part One, will be released on December 25, 2024. The sequel, titled Wicked: Part Two, comes out exactly one year later, on December 25, 2025. Jon M. Chu, 43, explained why the project is being split into two movies back in April 2022.
“As we prepared this production over the last year, it became increasingly clear that it would be impossible to wrestle the story of WICKED into a single film without doing some real damage to it,” Jon wrote on Twitter. “We decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and make not just one WICKED movie but TWO!! With more space, we can tell the story of WICKED as it was meant to be told while bringing even more depth and surprise to the journeys of these beloved characters.”
Special #Wicked Movie Announcement… ✌?????sent from my OzPhone: pic.twitter.com/4qPpvVD4rR
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) April 26, 2022
Wicked Movies Cast & Crew
Ariana Grande, 29, and Cynthia Erivo, 35, were cast as Glinda and Elphaba, respectively, on November 4, 2021. Both actresses shared the news of their casting on Instagram. Ariana shared a photo of her hands over her face as she sat in front of an Apple MacBook after learning the news. The pop star also shared screenshots of a three way call between herself, Cynthia and Jon, followed by just a call between the ladies. In Cynthia’s post, the British actress held her hands over her mouth and was in tears as she found out she got the role. Ariana and Cynthia also sent each other flowers with heartfelt notes where they congratulated the other on the new job.
Ariana is taking over the role of Glinda the Good Witch which was originated by Kristen Chenoweth in the Broadway show. Cynthia is playing Elphaba, who was originally portrayed by Idina Menzel on Broadway. Both Kristen and Idina congratulated Ariana and Cynthia on snagging the iconic roles.
The rest of the cast for the Wicked movies is pretty epic. Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey, 34, is playing Fiyero, Elphaba’s love interest. Jon Chu confirmed Jonathan’s casting in September 2022. “He’s perfect, they’re perfect. They’d be perfect together. Born to be forever….. I am too excited to pretend this hasn’t been happening. We have a Fiyero!!!! #JonathanBailey #Wicked,” he wrote on Twitter.
Michelle Yeoh, 60, is playing Madame Morrible, the headmistress of Crage Hall at Shiz University. Jeff Goldblum, 70, is confirmed to be playing The Wizard. Saturday Night Live star Bowen Yang, 32, is playing Pfannee, Elphaba and Glinda classmate at Shiz University. The Greatest Showman star Kaela Settle, 47, is playing Miss Coddle. The cast also consists of Ethan Slater as Boq, Marissa Bode as Nessarose (Elphaba’s sister), Bronwyn James as ShenShen, Aaron Teoh as Avaric, and Colin Michael Carmichael as Professor Nikdik.
Jon M. Chu is directing the Wicked movies from a screenplay written by Winnie Holzman and Stephen Schwartz. Stephen is also doing the music, which is set to include some of the musical’s most classic songs such as “Defying Gravity” and “Popular.” Marc Platt, who is Ben Platt‘s father, and David Stone are producing the films. Alice Brooks is the cinematographer, Nathan Crowley is the production designer, and Paul Tazewell is the costume designer.
Rehearsals for Wicked: Part One began in August 2022. Both Ariana and Cynthia gave fans some behind-the-scenes glimpses into their rehearsals in October 2022. The duo posed for a cute mirror selfie during a break in the rehearsal studio. Ariana underwent a blonde hair makeover that month to play Glinda. Jon Chu confirmed on Dec. 9 that filming had begun three days earlier, in London. Filming is supposedly taking place at Sky Studios. The cast and crew are expected to shoot Wicked: Part One and Wicked: Part Two back to back.
What We Know About The Plot Of The Wicked Movies
The Wicked films are expected to closely follow the plot of the Broadway show, which is actually based on Gregory Maguire‘s 1995 novel. The story takes place before and after Dorothy Gale arrives in Oz from Kansas, and explores the relationship between Elphaba and Glinda. The pair start off as unlikely friends but eventually they become adversaries after The Wizard casts a spell on Elphaba which turns her into the Wicked Witch.
Cynthia Erivo previously teased how the films are going to be even better than the musical. “I think it’s going to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before,” Cynthia told Entertainment Tonight at the 2022 SAG Awards. “I think we’re going to enjoy the magic of it. We’re going to try and put our own spin on what we know already and show you a story about two women [who] are sisters,” she added.
Stephen Schwartz confirmed in a June 2022 newsletter that there will be new songs in the films. “There are two new songs in the second movie that are complete songs in themselves, and then there are new sections in some of the existing songs in both movies. All the new material, of course, is to meet the demands of the storytelling,” he said.
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