The two-part film starring Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande will release on Christmas in 2024 and 2025.
Jeff Goldblum is off to be the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The actor is in talks to join the cast of the upcoming “Wicked” films.
If confirmed, Goldblum will play the Wizard, depicted in the original Stephen Schwartz stage musical as the beloved but mysterious ruler of the Land of Oz, capable of incredible feats of magic and power. Joel Grey originated the part in the Broadway production based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.” Of course, the character of the Wizard originates in L. Frank Baum’s classic 1900 children’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and has been portrayed onscreen numerous times, most notably by Frank Morgan in the 1939 MGM film adaptation of Baum’s original work.
“Wicked” is a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz,” telling the origin stories of the Wicked Witch of the West and the benevolent Glinda the Good Witch. The “Wicked” films star Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba, who will one day become the Wicked Witch, and Ariana Grande as Glinda. In addition, “Bridgerton” star Jonathan Bailey has been cast as Fiyero, a carefree man who ends up in a love triangle with the two female leads. The parts of Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero originated on stage with Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, and Norbert Leo Butz.
“In the Heights” and “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu helms the two-part big-screen adaptation, which adapts each act of the musical into a separate movie. Universal Pictures will release both films on Christmas, with part one coming in 2024 and part two in 2025. In his statement announcing the decision to split the musical into two films, Chu attributed it to a desire to avoid cutting songs or characters while further fleshing out the story and its world.
“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 for these beloved characters,” Chu said.
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