Big news for Wicked fans, as it was officially announced that Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo have been cast in the new live-action movie. Grande and Erivo will portray Glinda and Elphaba, respectively, in the Universal picture, based on the Tony-winning musical. The film will be directed by In The Heights director Jon M. Chu, who has been attached to the project since February. Casting rumors have been swirling for months about which actresses would be taking on the iconic roles.
Grande began her acting career on Broadway in the musical 13 and became more of a household name thanks to her role on the Nickelodeon shows Victorious and Sam & Cat, while also being a successful recording artist in 2013. She is currently set to appear in Adam McKay‘s upcoming film Don’t Look Up, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence. After the casting news was confirmed last night, fans resurfaced a tweet of Grande‘s from 10 years ago where the singer professed that the role of Glinda would be a dream achievement for her.
Erivo also boasts an impressive resume as she is near EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) status, having won a Tony for her performance in the Broadway musical adaption of The Color Purple. She has also received a Grammy and a daytime Emmy award and is known for starring in such films as Bad Times at the El Royale and Harriet. She is also set to star as the Blue Fairy in the upcoming live-action remake of Disney‘s Pinocchio.
Wicked, based on the 1995 book by Gregory Maguire entitled Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, tells the story of the Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the witches in the Land of Oz. The musical centers on two unlikely friends Elphaba (known to the audience as the Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (whose name later changes to Glinda the Good Witch) who struggle through their opposing world views, personalities, and rivalry over the same love-interest. The original musical debuted in San Francisco in 2003 and starred Idina Menzel as Elphaba, for which she won a Tony for Best Actress in a Musical, and Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda.
It was recently reported by Collider that production was slated to start in March 2022 in Atlanta, but has since been pushed back to June 2022 and will now be shot in the UK in the new Sky Studios, once they have completed construction.
No other casting has been made at this time. Check out Grande and Erivo‘s posts below celebrating the news: