The story of Elphaba and Glinda gets retold in the 2024 film adaptation of “Wicked,” starring Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo.
Broadway musical Wicked returns to the big screen in the form of a musical film adaptation this year. It will have two parts, the first movie to debut this year while Wicked: Part Two will hit cinemas in 2025. Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo will headline the cast of the first adaptation.
Two-part “Wicked” is “immersive, cultural”
Grande and Erivo play Glinda and Elphaba respectively. The latter is a misunderstood young woman due to her green skin feature and hasn’t realized the magical potential she possesses. Meanwhile, the former is a popular woman with privilege and ambition and will soon discover her “true heart.”
Universal Pictures’ synopsis revealed the two will meet at the Shiz University in the Land of Oz and embark on an unlikely friendship.
Acclaimed filmmaker Jon M. Chu directed the first film adaptation.
Universal Pictures mentioned as well that the two-part movie will be an immersive, cultural celebration. A report by Variety weighed in, saying the movie will depict a different Oz that Dorothy Gale encountered in The Wizard of Oz.
Wicked will highlight performances from Hollywood’s finest stars. Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh will play Shiz University’s regal headmistress Madame Morrible. Bridgerton and Fellow Travelers’ Jonathan Bailey stars as roguish and carefree prince, Fiyero. Tony nominee and Broadway’s Spongebob Squarepants’ Ethan Slater will be Munchkin student Boq.
Pop culture icon Jeff Goldblum joined the cast as the Wizard of Oz himself. Meanwhile, Marissa Bode will star as Nessarose, Elphaba’s sister, in Wicked, her feature film debut.
IMDb revealed the rest of the cast: Keala Settle as Miss Coddle, Bowen Yang as Pfannee, Adam James as Glinda’s father, and Bronwyn James as ShenShen, among others.
A story of “selfless love and friendship”
Grande said in an interview with Vanity Fair that Glinda and Elphaba’s relationship is defined by “a really selfless love and friendship.” The two, although forming an unlikely connection, became each other’s first real friend who accepts everything they are.
Erivo explained that the two will realize they’re “different sides of the same coin,” and it will be the time they see each other clearly.
Chu expressed that Wicked is not just a Broadway musical but “the” American fairy tale. “What is truth? What is a happy ending? Is the yellow brick road the road to follow? Is someone really there on the other end who’s going to give you your heart’s desire?” The movie will be exploring and answering these questions as the characters and viewers, together, traverse the path of Oz.
Here is the first look at Wicked, out in theaters on November 27.
Banner photo from IMDb.