The actress joins the star-studded cast in the big film adaptation of the beloved Broadway musical.
Wicked, the wildly successful Broadway musical that made global stars of its leads Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, is finally heading to the big screen. Set to play Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West? None other than Grammy-winning superstar Ariana Grande, and Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award recipient Cynthia Erivo. And accompanying them as their dashing love interest Fiyero? Bridgerton’s Jonathan Bailey, of course.
Grande and Erivo revealed their news last November with matching Instagram posts, featuring the flowers they’d exchanged and pictures of them FaceTiming each other. “Thank goodness,” wrote Grande, referencing the name of the song that opens the musical’s second act. Meanwhile, Erivo quoted Glinda, writing, “Pink goes good with green” (a nod to Glinda’s favourite shade and the emerald hue of Elphaba’s skin). Bailey’s announcement came almost a year later, on 21 September, via the big-screen adaptation’s director Jon M Chu. (Chu previously helmed Crazy Rich Asians and proved his ability to take a beloved musical seamlessly from stage to screen with In the Heights.) And if that wasn’t enough, over the last few months, two more A-listers have become involved: Michelle Yeoh, who’s been cast as Madame Morrible, the headmistress of Crage Hall at Shiz University, and Jeff Goldblum, who is in final talks to join as the Wizard himself.
It’s been a long time coming for fans who’ve been hoping for a cinematic version of the witches’ exploits in the land of Oz—the project first entered development in 2004, not long after the show’s debut—but they’ll be amply rewarded. In April, Chu added that the musical would be split into two films, with the first arriving in cinemas on 25 December 2024, and the second exactly a year after that. “As we prepared the production over the last year, it became impossible to wrestle the story of Wicked into a single film without doing some real damage to it,” he said in a statement. “With more space, we can tell the story of Wicked as it was meant to be told while bringing even more depth and surprises to the journeys for these beloved characters.” Composer Stephen Schwartz, who penned the original music and lyrics, and Winnie Holzman, who wrote the dialogue, are collaborating on the screenplays for both productions, while three-time Oscar nominee Marc Platt is producing.
As we count down to the first film’s release, revisit Grande’s rendition of “The Wizard and I”—performed live as part of a TV special marking Wicked’s 15th anniversary in 2018—and recall when, more than a decade ago, she tweeted about wanting to play Glinda at some point in her life. Some dreams, it seems, really do come true.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com.