When news broke that the big-screen adaptation of Wicked had finally cast its two main leads, fans couldn’t have been more excited. With A-list pop star Ariana Grande playing Glinda and Tony-award winning and Oscar-nominated powerhouse Cynthia Erivo playing Elphaba, it’s easy to understand the enthusiasm. But it seems like no one was more hype than the musical's original Broadway stars, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth.
For Broadway enthusiasts who have been keeping track, the Wicked film adaptation has been in the works for a while now. The theatrical adaptation of the movie has hit a few snags along the way, causing delays. But as In The Heights’ director Jon M. Chu remains at the helm, some major progress has been made when it comes to getting the film toward production. Most notably, of course, is the addition of Grande and Erivo to the cast list.
Any sadness that fans may have felt that the actresses who originated the roles won’t be playing them on the big screen was likely soothed when both Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth shared their joy over the casting news. Menzel retweeted Jon M. Chu’s casting announcement with words of encouragement and support:
Over on Instagram, Chenoweth shared her own happiness for the newest Glinda. And what's especially sweet is that the two stars go way back:
We love to see talented legends supporting talented legends -- especially after knowing that Ariana Grande has been hoping to play this role for such a long time and seeing both actresses’ genuine excitement at being cast. Idina Menzel isn’t joking about Wicked being a game changer for its stars. The musical, which is a powerful origin story about The Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West, first hit the Great White Way in 2003. It’s one of the most successful Broadway musicals ever, and its popularity helped both Menzel and Chenoweth secure long-lasting careers in Hollywood.
Kristen Chenoweth has been a staple on TV for years now, snagging prominent roles in everything from The West Wing to American Gods. Her most recent gig, as fate would have it, has been as an advisor for Ariana Grande’s team on this season of The Voice. In the years since she won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Elphaba, Idina Menzel has appeared in fan favorites like Enchanted and critically acclaimed films like Uncut Gems. But, of course, most importantly, she’s gone on to be known the world over as Frozen’s Elsa.
It will be exciting to see how Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande bring their beloved Wicked characters to life when the film finally hits theaters.
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