The upcoming first installment of the Wicked movie musical will defy its originally announced release date and hit movie screens a month earlier, with the Cynthia Erivo- and Ariana Grande–led film now scheduled to release November 27, 2024, according to a report in Variety. The film had previously been expected December 25, 2024, when it would have had to contend with Avatar 3 and Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
Adapted from the long-running Broadway hit, the two-part screen version of Wicked will star Tony winner Erivo as Elphaba and pop star (and Broadway alum) Grande as Glinda. 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.
The adaptation's second part remains scheduled to release December 25, 2025.
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.
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The show won 2004 Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical (Menzel), Best Costume Design (Susan Hilferty), and Best Scenic Design (Eugene Lee).