LAST year, director Jon M. Chu confirmed that he was to direct the upcoming movie adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Wicked, and had cast singer Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo as the enemies-to-best-friend leads Glinda and Elphaba.
Ever since it debuted on Broadway in 2003, Wicked became an instant hit, and is one of the world’s most iconic musicals.
Recently Grande took to her Instagram to share a series of behind-the-scenes rehearsal photos featuring the star-studded cast. The photos also featured the 29-year-old singer posing with Erivo, showing how the two had developed a friendship both on screen and in real life, which drew support from their Broadway predecessors.
Kristin Chenoweth, who originally played Glinda onstage, wrote to Grande, whom she’s known since the latter was 10: “I’m not sure I’ve ever been this proud. From the very first day I met you … you were destined for this role.”
She added that with Erivo by her side, Grande would be the “best Glinda.”
Idina Menzel, the original Broadway Elphaba, also weighed in by writing: “Congrats to two amazing women. May it change your lives for the better forever and ever as it has for us. So much love.”
Bridgerton’s Jonathan Bailey was also recently announced as taking on the role of Fiyero, the main love interest in the musical.
According to director Chu, the adaptation based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel of the same name will differ slightly from the stage version, but he promised to stay true to the heart of the story.
To do so, Chu recently announced that the adaptation would be split into two separate movies. “With more space, we can tell the story of WICKED as it was meant to be told,“ he said, noting that “a bigger canvas” would allow the creative team the space to include as many musical numbers and characters as possible.
The first film is slated to be released December 2024, with the second to come the following year.