Cynthia Erivo And Ariana Grande Will Star In Jon M. Chu’s Wicked Movie


by Sophie Butcher |
Published on

Halloween may be over, but there are still witchy goings-on at Universal this week, with the studio confirming the two stars of its upcoming adaptation of the hit musical Wicked. The Wizard Of Oz prequel musical – which offers a more sympathetic slant on the so-called Wicked Witch Of The West – will feature pop superstar Ariana Grande as Glinda the Good Witch, with Harriet and Bad Times At The El Royale star Cynthia Erivo opposite her as the gloriously green Elphaba, aka the Wicked Witch herself. The film will be directed by Jon M. Chu, who is no stranger to taking stories from stage to screen after the release of In The Heights this year.

With the musical including belters like ‘For Good’, ‘The Wizard And I’, and – of course – ‘Defying Gravity’, it’s clear to see why Grande and Erivo made the cut. Erivo was nominated for an Emmy for her portrayal of Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin in the Genius: Aretha series, and received a Grammy and a Tony award for her performance in the Broadway musical version of The Color Purple. Grande, with her iconic ponytail and impressive vocal range, is one of the biggest-selling artists in the world – with two Grammys and five platinum-selling albums now under her belt, she broke into the industry as a young actor on Nickelodeon, and will appear in Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up later this year.

Telling the story of the friendship between the two witches, Wicked is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. A film adaptation has been in development from soon after the show debuted on Broadway, but is finally set to start shooting next summer in the UK. Considering its seismic status on the stage, let’s hope the movie is just as gravity-defying.

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