Are you ready to see the Wizard? According to some ‘wonderful’ news from Variety, Jon M. Chu‘s upcoming silver screen adaptation of Wicked may have just tapped the ineffable Jeff Goldblum himself to portray a role written in the stars. Reportedly, the Jurassic Park actor is in the final talks to take on the Wizard of Oz in the now two-part films based on the acclaimed Broadway musical, and he seems just the sentimental man to do it!
This newly-announced development may have just changed the production of Wicked for the good. Already studded with stars, the film’s cast currently boasts the Grammy Award-winning talent of both Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and Ariana Grande as Glinda, formerly Galinda. Most recently, Bridgerton‘s Jonathan Bailey boarded as the prince Fiyero, Elphaba’s love interest, and now to really ramp up the excitement it seems Goldblum is looking to take on the most humble of characters on the roster: the Wizard.
Chu‘s Wicked will mark the first live-action films adapted from the musical, which is based off the book series written by author Gregory Maguire. The story tells the tale of how The Wizard of Oz‘s antagonist, the Wicked Witch of the West, came to bear her hurtful and misguided title through a revision of history. Goldblum‘s prospective role is that of the Wizard, a human man with more bravado and hot air than any true magic, who has made a name for himself in the land of Oz as a respectful magician to be revered. Growing up an enigma in a world of magical creatures, Elphaba’s intent on meeting with the Wizard in order to become an adviser of sorts, with an endgame of having him “de-greenify” her.
Having dipped his toes into a variety of genres, Goldblum is more often than not a scene-stealer. No matter the role, from the 1978 remake Invasion of the Body Snatcher to playing the hedonistic Grandmaster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he manages to command the screen. Though Goldblum is excellent in more tonally serious roles, his iconically dry portrayal of Ian Malcolm in the Jurassic Park franchise will always, ah, find a way to steal audiences’ hearts. Both on and offscreen, the actor gives the impression that he shares the same wit and sardonic sense of humor with many of his characters. It’s his playful lack of humility that will lend a degree of meta-richness to the Wicked films as they did for his grandiose Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok. Up next, Goldblum will be taking over the role of Zeus for the forthcoming Netflix series Kaos.
On the decision to split Wicked into two films, director Chu (In the Heights) shared to his Twitter that in order to deliver the full story, he, “…decided to give [them] a bigger canvas,” so that the cast and crew could “…tell the story of ‘Wicked’ as it was meant to be told while bringing even more depth and surprise to the journeys of these beloved characters.” Wicked Part One is set to premiere in theaters in December 2024, with Part Two the following December.