The Hollywood veteran Jeff Goldblum has been paving the way for generations of actors, now he’s paving the way on a yellow brick road.
Goldblum confirmed on Jimmy Kimmel he’ll be working his magic to play the Wizard in Universal’s upcoming film adaptation of the hit broadway musical, Wicked.
The casting of Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande as Elphaba and Glinda a few months ago was met with a mixture of praise and surprised, slightly ruffled feathers among fans of the classic Broadway show, but Goldblum’s praising of them should quell remaining fears until we get a teaser trailer.
Other cast members include Jonathan Bailey, Ethan Slater, and recent Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh, with the wizard behind the camera being Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians, In the Heights), so it’s safe to presume that the Wicked musical is in very safe hands with this production team. For those not in the know, the Wicked adaptation will be split into two parts. Part one flies across our screens on November 27, 2024, and part two concludes the tale on December 25, 2025.
Jeff Goldblum As The Wizard Is Wickedly Genius
Jeff Goldblum is usually an ace in the hole for a film’s cast list. His unique charisma and energy onscreen have seen him have an expansive career running the gamut from bit parts, supporting roles, and occasionally even a leading man position. My generation mostly knows him from the Jurassic Park films, Cats & Dogs, and most recently Thor: Ragnarok, but he’s been around long before any of those scripts were ever conceived. He also has classics like The Big Chill, The Fly, and Independence Day under his belt on the big screen and took a main dramatic role on Law & Order: Criminal Intent for its 8th and 9th seasons in 2009 and 2010.
In Wicked, the Wizard of Oz is portrayed as a manipulative trickster who has used his gift of gab and position of power to make the residents of Oz fear him and control the land’s animals.
To me, Goldblum is a perfect actor to portray such a slimy character here as his natural likability will be turned on its head and allow him to show a far darker side of himself than most audiences are used to seeing. The closest I can think he’s gotten to a role like this in the past is 2006’s political satire Man of the Year, in which he portrays a crooked politician who ignores faulty voting machines, so I’m looking forward to seeing how he approaches The Wizard here.
The History of The Wizard of Oz
The last time we saw The Wizard onscreen was Disney’s 2011 prequel film Oz: The Great And Powerful, where he was portrayed by James Franco. The character was most famously played by Frank Morgan in 1939’s iconic The Wizard of Oz, thought Charles Murray also took his shot in the 1925 silent version. Wicked is based on the 1995 book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West published in 1995 and the 2003 Broadway play.
The Broadway show is one of the most successful and beloved in the industry’s entire history, so I’m bursting with glee to see it realized onscreen. The Illuminerdi will keep you updated on all things Wicked until it casts its spell on us all on November 27, 2024 and December 25, 2025.
What are your thoughts on Jeff Goldblum’s casting as The Wizard in Wicked? Are you excited to see the film adaptation? What did you think of The Wizard of Oz? Let us know in the comments below and on our social media.
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