The film adaptation of the Broadway musical will star Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande.
Jon M. Chu just shared some Wicked movie news that’s going to make the world dance in their seats! The director of the film, which stars Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo, revealed that the film will now be broken into two movies, with the first one coming to theaters in December 2024 and the second one in December 2025.
“Thank you for all the support these past several months in anticipation of the Wicked movie,” he wrote in a note posted on his social media. “We have so many exciting things to share but for now I’m giving you one...or two, rather.”
Chu shared that as he and the cast went on to prepare the film, they realized that there was just too much to cut, without taking away from the original beloved story.
“Here’s what happened: as we prepared this production over the last year, it became increasingly clear that it would be impossible to wrestle the story of Wicked into a single film without doing some real damage to it,” the note continued. “As we tried to cut songs or trim characters, those decisions began to feel like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years. So we decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and make not just one Wicked movie but TWO!!!! With more space, we can 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.”
He continued, “Cynthia, Ariana, and I – and all of the cast and crew – pledge to create nothing less than an experience that honors its foundation for all the fans who've waited for this movie, and to offer a thrilling, fantastical world full of dynamic characters that invites in those who are unfamiliar.”
Chu ended his message, which was sent from his OzPhone, with the official release dates of the films.
“So get ready, because Wicked is finally coming to you on successive Christmas holidays beginning December 2024," he shared. "Until then, I will be keeping you up to date throughout rehearsals, the shoot, and even editing. Here. We. Go. #WickedMovies.”
In the film, Erivo is playing the "wicked" witch Elphaba and Grande is the "good" witch Glinda (formerly Galinda).
Wicked tells the story of how a green-skinned woman framed by the Wizard of Oz becomes the Wicked Witch of the West. The two lead roles were first played by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth on Broadway.
In February, Erivo shared her reaction to getting the news about her lead role with ET. "I wasn't OK when I found out either. I was not OK,” she said.
As for working with Grande, the former Broadway actress is looking forward to it. "I can tell you that Ariana is wonderful. The two of us are really starting to find our feet and find our relationship and really enjoy one another's time and space and conversations," Erivo said of the pop diva. "She's the sweetest person."
She added, "We go into rehearsals in July, and then it's off to the races. It's starting, people!"