The ultra-popular musical, Wicked, is finally being adapted into a big-screen movie at last. Based on the stage show that debuted in 2003 by Stephen Schwartz, itself based on the classic L. Frank Baum tale The Wizard of Oz, is coming as a major motion picture from filmmaker Jon M. Chu (In the Heights, Crazy Rich Asians). This week, Chu shared a first look at pictures from the upcoming live-action film via Twitter.
The new images showcase Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and Ariana Grande as Glinda, and you can view those new images below:
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Chu noted in the caption of the new photos, “You weren’t told the whole story. What happens when you veer off the Yellow Brick Road? Here is your very FIRST LOOK of #WickedMovie … currently in production in Oz. @WickedMovie @UniversalPics”
After originally announcing the film, Universal later announced plans to split Wicked into a two-part event. Wicked: Part One arrives in November 2024. Meanwhile, Part Two will hit theaters in December 2025, one year later.
The film boasts an impressive cast, with Cynthia Erivo portraying Elphaba Thropp, who is best known as the Wicked Witch of the West. Meanwhile, Ariana Grande is Glinda Upland, also known as the Good Witch of the North in the original tale. Wicked is an alternate retelling of the original story, subverting the famous roles and characters of The Wizard of Oz. Hopefully, Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, who originated the stage roles of Glinda and Elphaba respectively, will have some type of cameos or roles within the films.
Also adding to the great cast list, Jeff Goldblum will portray this adaptation’s version of The Wizard of Oz. Also, Michelle Yeoh, fresh off her Best Actress Academy Award for Everything, Everywhere All At Once, will portray Madame Morrible, the headmistress of Shiz University, attended by both Elphaba and Glinda. Marissa Bode will portray Nessarose Thropp, the younger sister of Elphaba.
Hopefully, some footage from the upcoming two-part event will be out before not too long. Granted, the first film’s release is still over a year away. There have been multiple previous adaptations of The Wizard of Oz, but none quite like this one. Universal Pictures first began developing a big-screen adaptation of the stage musical in 2017. However, it was hit with production delays. Principal production finally began on the live-action feature last December in England.
Releasing the stage show as a two-parter is a big risk. However, it should give the story plenty of room to breathe and let the audiences get enough time to know the stories of Elphaba and Glinda.
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The film will adapt Stephen Schwartz’s music and lyrics for the film, along with Winnie Holzman’s stage book. The films are also expected to feature new songs created by Schwartz for the purpose of the films.
The long journey of the stage show to the big screen is nearly complete as Wicked: Part One hits theaters on Nov. 27, 2024. Wicked: Part Two is due out on Dec. 25, 2025.
What do you think of the news? Are you excited that a big-screen, theatrical version of Wicked is finally happening? What do you think about the casting of Elphaba and Glinda? Let us know how what you think about the news on The Illuminerdi Twitter account.
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SOURCE: Jon M. Chu, Twitter