Cynthia Erivo Names The Wicked Song She Can’t Wait For Hardcore Fans To Experience

The casting of actor Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba in the two-part adaptation of Wicked is just one of the many reasons to be excited for director Jon M. Chu’s latest effort in the world of musicals. With plenty of room for changes and all sorts of interesting renditions of moments we’ve seen in the smash stage musical, no one truly knows what to expect - except not to see this film on the calendar of 2023 new movie releases. However, if you ask Cynthia Erivo about the one song she can’t wait for hardcore fans to experience, the answer might legitimately surprise you. 

Like myself, you’re probably expecting “Defying Gravity” to be the answer to that very question. But as I found out during the press day for Netflix’s Luther: The Fallen Sun, Cynthia Erivo had another equally iconic song chosen as the moment she can’t wait to show the world. Here’s what she told me when I spoke with her on behalf of CinemaBlend for the Idris Elba-led franchise film:

I think, oh there’s a lot. It’s so hard to pick just one thing, but I think that no one could possibly be expecting the way this music is going to fly and soar. … I can’t wait for you all to see “Popular,” by the way. I’m just gonna say that.

Anyone who’s been on social media, especially TikTok, knows that particular Stephen Schwartz tune has had its day in the sun, almost as much as Wicked’s show-stopping Act I closer. It still circulates as a meme on the trendy social network, and was coincidentally sampled by Ariana Grande, the Glinda the Good Witch to Erivo’s Elphaba. 

Acting as a big makeover scene between these new friends and roommates, it’s a moment that most Wicked fans probably had on their list of most anticipated experiences. Thanks to Cynthia Erivo’s comments, “Popular” is probably going to live up to its own name yet again, jumping up some lists by more than a few spots. 

Wicked as a two-part experience sounds even more exciting when listening to Erivo talk about her enthusiasm for the project. Her infectious glee for the award-winning musical’s cinematic transition cannot be underestimated, especially since Cynthia Erivo had already teased some of Wicked’s cinematic changes. Expanding on that subject, she also offered the following comments discussing how big the production on the whole is going: 

The music is unbelievable. But I think you’re gonna get to know these two women in a way that you haven’t probably gotten to know them so far. We get to really connect with them, and you get to know their relationships. And I think the way we’ve gotten to sort of grow them from movie one to movie two is really fun. It’s just really cool, and the magic that you get to see, because now we’re on film and the world is our oyster. So you get to learn a bit more about Elphaba, you get to learn a bit more about what she grows into, how she becomes the Wicked Witch of the West, what that looks like on someone like me. I dunno, I just think it’s really cool. And our relationship, the Glinda/Elphaba relationship, we’ve had a great time doing it. I’ll put it that way, and I hope that everybody else sees that.

Two movies means plenty of opportunities to expand and reconstruct the Wicked lore, as well as room for more show stoppers from Cynthia Erivo, Ariana Grande, and the rest of the impressive Wicked film cast. It’s the sort of thing that could drive fans crazy with anticipation, especially since it’s a little under two years until the movie hits theaters. 

In the same breath, hearing Ms. Erivo hype things up in the best way possible is only going to do wonders for the popularity of Universal’s big musical gamble. What other amazing changes and delights should we expect? We don’t know at the moment, but what we do know about Wicked is that Part One will open in theaters on December 24, 2024. Meanwhile, you can see Cynthia Erivo butting heads with Idris Elba in the thrilling cast for Luther: The Fallen Sun, which is currently streaming on Netflix.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.