Wicked Movie: Release Date, Cast And Other Things We Know About The Adaptation Of The Broadway Musical

Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande in Wicked
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Have you tried defying gravity? Because these two most certainly have. 

When it comes to modern musicals, one that I always think about is Wicked. The Broadway play was released early in the 2000s with stars Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth in the lead roles, and its songs, like “Popular” and “Defying Gravity,” are well-known throughout the world. It was really only a matter of time before this fantastic musical got the movie treatment that we all know it deserved. 

And now, it’s happening. It’s actually happening after years of hearing about it nonstop. We are getting a Wicked movie – or, rather, movies. If you’re as curious about Wicked as we are, here is what we know so far about the highly anticipated musical movie.  

What Is The Wicked Release Date?

Cynthia Erivo in Wicked

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Wicked, Part 1 is set to come out on November 27, 2024, according to Deadline. The film was originally set to release on December 25, 2024, but was pushed forward so it wouldn’t be in the theaters at the same time with bigger competition. Additionally, the second part is set to release on December 25, 2025. 

I know what you just did – a double-take, because you, like me, can’t believe that they’re splitting this movie up into two parts, but apparently that’s what’s happening. But that just means we’ll be getting one part on the 2024 movie schedule and then we have another part to look forward to in 2025. 

Is There A Trailer For Wicked?

Get excited, because we have our first look at the upcoming Wicked film with the first trailer! Released during the Superbowl in 2024, the trailer shows the stars dressed to the nines in their outfits, a hint at the singing and sets we are about to get, and so much more. 

Ariana Grande And Cynthia Erivo Are Starring

Ariana Granda and Cynthia Erivo in Wicked.

(Image credit: Universal)

When casting the famous Glinda and Elphaba, it’s hard to imagine anyone else besides Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth in the roles, because they made them just so iconic. But, there are two major stars who are cast in the main roles, and they are Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo, according to Variety, which was reported in November 2021. Grande will play Glinda, and Erivo will be playing Elphaba. 

Both of these stars have done their fair share of work in the film industry. Grande has been on Broadway before and also had a small role in the 2021 Adam McKay movie, Don’t Look Up. Erivo has won a Tony, Grammy and Daytime Emmy for her acting and singing talents, including her part as Celie in the revival of The Color Purple on Broadway, as well as roles in movies such as Harriet, Bad Times at the El Royale and many more.  

Ariana Granda even shared a picture of the two of them on Instagram back in March 2023 when they were filming, saying they were “up to (no) good,” a reference to the musical:

Erivo confirmed on The Today Show in December 2023 that as Elphaba, she performed her own stunts and was “singing live,” which for her was a “role of a lifetime:”

To play this role has been one of the roles of a lifetime, to be honest. It's very exciting and fun and wild and heart-wrenching. I'm doing all my own stunts and singing live.

With these two playing such incredible characters, I have a feeling that Wicked is going to be a wicked good time – alright, that was a bad pun, I’ll be quiet. 

The Wicked Cast Also Include Jonathan Bailey, Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Yeoh And More

Michelle Yeoh in Wicked.

(Image credit: Universal)

With any Wicked cast list, we already know that the overall ensemble is going to be filled to the brim with talent, and we know exactly who is going to be playing whom. 

First off in the ensemble cast is Jonathan Bailey, according to Variety, which was announced in September 2022, and he is going to be playing Fiyero from the musical. 

The next person confirmed is Jeff Goldblum, who will also be a main star in the cast, according to an October 2022 Variety article. Goldblum will portray The Wizard – i.e. the actual Wizard of Oz. 

Moving on, we have Michelle Yeoh, who is confirmed to appear in the film, according to another article from Variety in early December 2022, and she is set to play Madame Morrible, the headmaster of the school that Elphaba and Glinda attend. 

Also set to star is Ethan Slater, according to Variety, which was also announced in early December 2022, and will play Boq. 

Several other stars have been announced to appear opposite these big names. According to an early December 2022 Deadline article, these include Marissa Bode, Bowen Yang, Bronwyn James, Keala Settle, Aaron Teoh and Colin Michael Carmichael, who will play Nessarose, Pfannee, ShenShen, Miss. Coddle, Avaric, and Nikidik respectively. 

The Film Will Be Adapted From The Broadway Musical Of The Same Name

Cynthia Erivo in Wicked.

(Image credit: Universal)

According to the official announcement for the movie from The Hollywood Reporter, the Wicked movie is going to be an adaptation of the original stage production of the same name. The musical is loosely based on the novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, written by Gregory Maguire, which is a spinoff of the popular children’s novel, The Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum

The musical tells the story of the early years of Glinda and Elphaba when they were teenagers in school, and how they became friends. But, in a world where Elphaba doesn’t feel appreciated for who she is, she takes her power into her own hands – causing Glinda and her to grow apart. Wicked is a story about everlasting friendship, and how just one person can change your life forever. 

Both Familiar And New Songs Will Be Included In The Movies

Ariana Grande on a boat in Wicked.

(Image credit: Universal)

Obviously with any adaptation of a movie musical, you want to make sure that there are as many songs from that musical included so that the fans are happy, and for Wicked, there’s no shortage of music that fans will recognize. 

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight in December 2023, Cynthia Erivo revealed what she was excited about the most for fans to see, and she revealed that she hopes the fans are moved by the songs, specifically “For Good,” a classic song from the musical, but that she was also excited for “The Wizard and I:”

I want to say 'For Good' is one of the most... like it's really special to us. It just -- it was a really special day. We filmed it over a week [and] we felt like it was a lot for the both of us, in our hearts, you know? And I'm really, really excited for 'The Wizard and I' 'cause, like, it's a full epic moment. There's so much in there that feels good... There are all really special moments within this movie and even the numbers without songs are really special as well.

While we’re not sure how many songs from the original musical are going to appear in the movies, we do know there will also be new songs. From The Schwartz Scene back in June 2022, it was confirmed that Stephen Schwartz (the composer behind Wicked), was composing new songs for the movies. At the time it was in the demo phase, so we’re not sure what will be included in the final piece, but I have a feeling it’ll be great regardless. 

Jon M. Chu Will Direct

Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo in Wicked.

(Image credit: Universal)

If that name sounds familiar, then you should get very excited. According to a February 2021 Deadline announcement, Jon M. Chu is directing the Wicked films and is sure to blow it out of the water with how amazing his track record is. 

‘Wicked’ Director Jon M. Chu Talks Ariana Grande, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ And More

Chu directed the fantastic romantic comedy hit, Crazy Rich Asians, which earned rave reviews. He also directed the fun 2021 musical, In the Heights, an adaptation of another famous musical from Broadway that was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. He worked on many other music-based films such as the Step Up franchise and Justin Bieber’s concert films. 

Truly, having Chu as the director is such a win for this movie, and I have a feeling that it’s going to be amazingly done.

Wicked isn’t going to be in theaters until later this year, but I have a feeling that when it does come, it’ll be so much fun – and it’ll be an opportunity for the soundtrack to get stuck in my head for hours on end again and again.   

Alexandra Ramos
Content Producer

A self-proclaimed nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, Alexandra Ramos is a Content Producer at CinemaBlend. She first started off working in December 2020 as a Freelance Writer after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She primarily works in features for movies, TV, and sometimes video games. (Please don't debate her on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!) She is also the main person who runs both our daily newsletter, The CinemaBlend Daily, and our ReelBlend newsletter.