Wicked Fans Petition Against James Corden Possibly Being Cast In The Movie, And There’s A Ton Of Signatures

James Corden on The Late Late Show
(Image credit: CBS)

British actor James Corden has made a name for himself across the pond with a series of appearances in musical film adaptations. Despite his frequent casting, many theatre fans are not happy with his continued involvement in some of their favorite musicals. After the Wicked movie finally announced its leads, many fans were concerned that the ubiquitous James Corden would be cast in the film. The result? An online petition to keep the late night host from stepping into the land of Oz. 

After years of living in development hell, the Wicked movie finally achieved lift off this year. Director Jon M. Chu revealed that Oscar nominee and Tony winner Cynthia Erivo would play Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West, while pop star Ariana Grande will take on the role of Glinda the Good Witch. Additional casting has not been announced, although some Wicked fans already know that they don’t want James Corden anywhere near the project. 

A concerned fan has created a Change.org petition begging Universal Studios to avoid casting James Corden in the Wicked film. The petition’s description reads: 

James Corden in no way shape or form should be in or near the production of Wicked the movie. That’s pretty much it.

The petition has garnered nearly 35,000 signatures, making it one of the top signed petitions on Change.org. Fans are clearly resonating with creator Mikel Miller’s sentiment. But why? There’s actually a few reasons. Although James Corden achieved initial success in the United States with his television and film appearances, his recent gigs haven’t been as well received

The Wicked petition may make it difficult to believe, but James Corden started his career on solid footing in the theatrical community. He actually won a Tony Award in 2012 for his turn in the play One Man, Two Guvnors and hosted the ceremony in 2016 and 2019. James Corden made the jump to musical film with the moderately well-received Into the Woods

Unfortunately, the rest of his song and dance routines fell flat. James Corden played Bustopher Jones in the infamous Cats movie, and recently drew backlash for his Cinderella ‘Crosswalk Musical’ segment that found him accosting drivers. He was also critcized for his portrayal of gay Broadway actor Barry Glickman in Ryan Murphy’s 2020 adaption of The Prom. Many LGBTQ+ fans were disappointed by the casting of a straight actor in the role, as well as James Corden’s stereotypical portrayal of a gay man. Given his spotty track record of musical adaptations, the Wicked petition makes a lot more sense. No additional casting has been announced for Wicked, so fans will just have to wait and see if their petition makes a difference. 

Wicked is set to begin filming in June of 2021. For future updates on all things Ozian, be sure to check back here on CinemaBlend. 

Rachel Romean

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.