Wicked: Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo cast in Universal’s adaptation of the Wizard Of Oz musical

Wicked: Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo cast in Universal’s adaptation of the Wizard Of Oz musical

Posted by for Film

Broadway fan favourite Wicked is being adapted into a big-screen musical by Universal, starring Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo.

Musical fans, we have some huge news for you. Following the successful revivals of In The Heights and the up-coming Steven Spielberg adaptation of West Side Story, two of Hollywood’s biggest stars will soon be defying gravity.

Indeed, after months of speculation as to who would take on the iconic roles of Glinda and Elphaba in Universal’s big-screen adaptation of Wicked, none other than Ariana Grande and Broadway legend Cynthia Erivo will portray the Good Witch and Wicked Witch respectively.

As Variety reports, the project is helmed by In the Heights director Jon M. Chu, who will be responsible for bringing the Tony-winning musical and fan favourite to our screens.

Both lead actresses have some serious performance credentials, with Erivo nearly having achieved the prestigious EGOT status — having received a Tony, Grammy and daytime Emmy award for her role as Celie in the 2015-2017 revival of The Color Purple. Grande, on the other hand, is of course best known for being a best-selling and award winning artist, but has acted on Broadway in the musical 3 and in Adam McKay’s upcoming film Don’t Look Up.

What is the plot of Wicked?

A prequel to The Wizard of Oz, Wicked tells the story of everything leading up to Dorothy’s arrival in Oz. In its original Broadway run, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth portrayed frenemies Elphaba, who would become the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda the Good Witch, in career-defining roles.

With famed songs like Popular and Defying Gravity, Wicked is one of Broadway’s most successful musicals of all time, with the original production winning three Tony Awards and seven Drama Desk Awards, while its original cast album received a Grammy Award.

How closely this Universal adaptation will follow the beloved show still remains to be seen, but in such capable hands, we can’t wait to see where the story of unlikely friendship is taken.

Who stars in Wicked?

We don’t know yet who will take on roles like The Wizard and Fiyero in the Universal production, but with such a strong leading cast, we can only imagine the kind of Hollywood royalty the adaptation will attract.

When announcing that Grande had joined the cast, the studio also shared a sweet throwback tweet of hers from 2011 where she called playing Glinda “her dream role”. Talk about manifestation.

What are people saying about Wicked?

Ever since the news was announced by Erivo and Grande via Instagram on Thursday night, the two have been trending on Twitter.

And it seems fans are already reacting positively to the casting news. “Cynthia Erivo has the best voice on the planet. This casting is ELITE,” an excited tweet read.

“Ok but hear me out, Best Actress Oscar winner Cynthia Erivo, and Best Supporting Actress Ariana Grande,” commented one fan, pre-empting some possible award season success for the duo.

“Ariana Grande singing Defying Gravity?? I’m thrilled,” added another, praising Grande’s vocal range. 

“These two witches!! The emotional moment I got to tell @cynthiaerivo and @arianagrande that they were our Elphaba and Galinda in the @WickedMovie for @unistudios 😭😭😭wait until you see what they bring!! It is other worldly. Ahhhhh!!!” wrote director Jon M.Chu in an emotional post.

When will Wicked be available to watch?

The project is still in early stages and filming has not yet begun, so we may have to wait a while for further details on when and where we can watch it. But one thing is for sure: it’s already shaping up to be the most exciting film news of the year.

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