As filming continues for the second installment of the upcoming two-part film adaption of Wicked, star Cynthia Erivo has shared her thoughts so far on playing the titular Wicked Witch of the West. With Wicked: Part One set to premiere in theatres November 27, 2024, Erivo's time playing Elphaba will soon wrap up as the filming of Wicked: Part Two concludes. Erivo has admitted that she is "already grieving for the day our little bubble must come to an end."
In an essay on Instagram, Erivo writes that after she sang Elphaba's longing ballad "I'm Not That Girl" yesterday, she started to cry. "I thought of us, the ones who often feel like they’re on the outside. The ones who don’t know that their differences, oddities, quirks are what make them beautiful and special. The ones who, for some reason, believe they can’t be loved." Erivo added that she was proud to sing that song and that she is "endlessly grateful to play a role that turns the notion of what beauty is on its head."
Erivo ended her essay by saying she hopes those who see the film, who have similar "bumps and scrapes and scars" will "get a little healing" from seeing the film.
In response to her essay, Erivo's costar Ariana Grande, who is playing Glinda, commented with, "I love you forever."
And the film's director Jon M. Chu wrote, "Our beautiful Elphie 😭😭😭 wait until you all see what she’s brought 💚💚💚extraordinary."
Read the complete essay Erivo penned on Instagram about her experience filming Wicked below:
"I realize I’ve said very little about my experience on Wicked and that's mainly because I’ve been keeping my head down and mining this beautifully complex being that is Elphaba, and it’s really hard to put into words. It is day 111 and yesterday we finished filming 'I’m Not That Girl' when we had come to the end of that moment, my heart broke open and tears fell. (Please know this happens OFTEN) I thought of us, the ones who often feel like they’re on the outside. The ones who don’t know that their differences, oddities, quirks are what make them beautiful and special. The ones who, for some reason, believe they can’t be loved and I felt proud to sing a song that might speak to those feelings. I am endlessly grateful to play a role that turns the notion of what beauty is on its head, I am endlessly grateful to be working with some of the most beautiful souls on the planet and I’m already grieving for the day our little bubble must come to an end.
I desperately hope that when you finally see this film, you’ll see you, you’ll see me, you’ll see Jon and Ari and our hearts laid bare, you’ll see pain and joy and maybe just maybe you’ll see a little spark of light that says, you are who you are for a reason and you are deserving of happiness and even though sometimes it might be hard to find, it is there for the taking. I hope all the bumps and scrapes and scars that you’ve picked up along the way, get a little healing when you finally relax in a theatre with a snack a drink and hopefully, friends you bring or friends you find when you’re there.
Love your Elphie
Adapted from the long-running Broadway hit, the first of the two-part screen version of Wicked starring Tony winner Erivo as Elphaba and pop star (and Broadway alum) Ariana Grande as Glinda will premiere in theatres November 27, 2024. The adaptation's second part is scheduled to release December 25, 2025. West End Company Olivier winner and Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey is set to star as Fiyero, and SpongeBob SquarePants star Ethan Slater as Boq.
Also in the cast are 2023 Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh as Madame Morrible, Jeff Goldblum as The Wizard, and newcomer Marissa Bode as Nessarose, the first wheelchair-using actor in the musical's history to take on the role. Stage and screen star Keala Settle, SNL's Bowen Yang, Bronwyn James, Aaron Teoh, and Colin Michael Carmichael will play roles new to the musical's screen version, with Settle as Miss Coddle, Carmichael as Professor Nikidik, and Yang, James, and Teoh as Shiz students Pfannee, ShenShen, and Avaric, respectively.
The screen adaptation, which will include new songs by Stephen Schwartz, will be helmed by In the Heights screen director Jon M. Chu. Wicked book writer Winnie Holzman has penned the screenplay, and Tony winner Paul Tazewell is designing costumes.
Wicked, injecting a new backstory onto the classic tale The Wizard of Oz, debuted on Broadway in 2003 and continues to be an audience favorite at the Gershwin Theatre. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, the musical features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. The original cast included Tony winners Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth as Elphaba and Glinda, respectively. The musical has subsequently been performed in more than 100 cities across 16 countries, and, in October 2019, surpassed Les Misérables to become the fifth longest-running production in Broadway history.