Everything We Know so Far About the Movie Musical

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) has seen more than a few adaptations in the century since its publication. Easily the most popular version is the 1939 film starring Judy Garland, and since then there have been so many different screen versions of the classic fairytale from L. Frank Baum, both in film and television. The story has even had more than a few stage adaptations, with one of the earliest examples being The Wiz (1974) – the soul-inspired remaining and one of the few musical versions of the story to match the quality of the 1939 film. As great as projects like The Wiz are, there is a more modern example that swept the world by storm upon its release.

Wicked (2003) could very easily be called the Hamilton (2015) of the early 2000s. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire titled Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, the musical was an absolute phenomenon in the world of musical theater, being a refreshingly unique take on an established concept. Instead of focusing on a little girl from Kansas who enters the magical world of Oz, this new story explores the origins of the Wicked Witch of the West. How she became the iconic villain and how she connects to the rest of the beloved characters we all know and love. The show went on to win three Tony Awards and since its premiere on Broadway, fans have patiently awaited a movie version of the famous play.

Thankfully, the wait will soon be over, as a Wicked (2024) film is set to finally hit the big screen relatively soon, bringing with it an experienced director of Broadway adaptations and a star-studded cast of some of the biggest names in acting and music working today. Though it’s still over a year away from release, Wicked has already become one of the most anticipated films of 2024, with years of attempts to adapt the show finally yielding tangible results. To find out everything we know so far about this return to the wonderful land of Oz, read below to discover the current status of the cast, crew, release date, and more.

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Image via Vertical

Related:’Wicked‘: Cynthia Erivo Reveals Her Approach to Elphaba’s Most Iconic Song

Is There a Trailer for Wicked?

At the time of this writing, Wicked has just finished rounding up its all-star cast, so filming and production have not yet begun and thus does not have any footage to necessitate a trailer. The only piece of promotional material we have for the film thus far is a teaser poster revealed at the 2022 Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring a big ole W with a bright green background.

Will Wicked be Released on Streaming or in Theaters?

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Image via Universal

Wicked will more than likely be making its way into theaters rather than streaming, given how massive an IP the show is and how highly anticipated an adaptation has been. We’re a long way from hearing any news on a streaming release, but given that Wicked is being produced by Universal Pictures, it’s possible we’ll see Wicked make a streaming release on Peacock in early 2025.

What is the Release Date for Wicked?

Broadway and Wizard of Oz fans alike will finally get to see Wicked make its way onto the big screen on Wednesday, December 25th, 2024, making for an incredible Christmas gift that will need to be seen in theaters.

What is the Plot of Wicked?

Obviously, Wicked is expected to follow more or less the same plot as the original show, but in case you’re unfamiliar with the story, here’s a general and brief rundown with no major spoilers. Here, the Wicked Witch of the West is given the name of Elphaba in the story (named after original Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum), who has faced a difficult upbringing for her entire life after coming out of her mother’s womb with green skin without any explanation. Having green skin in a magical world filled with talking animals and flowers that make you fall asleep may not seem like a major development, but this story’s version of Oz is a bit more complex and modern than what we’ve seen before. Years later, Elphaba is accepted into Shiz University, where she will meet a peppy rival in Glinda the Good Witch, a pompous and unlikely love interest with Prince Fiyero, and even the all-powerful Wizard of Oz himself. All these characters and more shape Elphaba into the villain she’ll ultimately become, almost all in entirely unexpected ways.

Who is Making Wicked?

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Quite a few A-list directors have been considered to helm Wicked over the years, with just a few names including James Mangold, J.J. Abrams, and even Steven Spielberg. Now, directing duties will be handled by filmmaker John M. Chu, best known for the acclaimed adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians (2018) and for bringing another Tony Award-winning Broadway musical to the big screen with In the Heights (2021). The film will also be keeping things close to home with a screenplay written by Winnie Holzman, who also wrote the original stage show. Producing the project are Marc Platt (La La Land), Brian Popkin (Requiem: If the Walls Could Talk), and David Stone (Swallow).

The rest of the crew consists of cinematographer Alice Brooks (In the Heights), production designer Nathan Crowley (The Greatest Showman), and costume designer Paul Tazewell (West Side Story).

Who is Starring in Wicked?

Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo, the stars of Wicked
Images via Netflix; 20th Century Studios

After being played by Broadway royalty with Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, the roles of Elphaba the Wicked Witch and Glinda the Good Witch will be filled by Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande. Menzel and Chenoweth both expressed interest in reprising their iconic roles in the film version, but given that both of the actresses are in their fifties and the characters are supposed to be college students, the roles were recast, but it’s quite possible that the two will have a cameo appearance somewhere in the film. That being said, going with Erivo and Grande are certainly wise choices, given that they’re easily two of the best musical talents of the modern generation.

Also, a part of the cast is Michelle Yeoh, cast in the role of Madame Morrible, the headmistress of Shiz University and a major antagonist in the film. Also, a part of the cast is Jeff Goldblum, who will be bringing to life the namesake of this magical land, The Wizard of Oz. The cast is then rounded out by Jonathan Bailey (Bridgerton) as Prince Fiyero, Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman) as Miss Coddle, Bowen Yang (Saturday Night Live) as Pfannee, Bronwyn James (The Dig) as ShenShen, Colin Michael Carmichael (Hot Fuzz) as Nikidik, Ethan Slater (Fosse/Verdon) as Boq, Marissa Bode as Nessarose, and Aaron Teoh Guan Ti as Avaric.

Related:’Wicked‘ Movie: Production Delayed Again as Filming Moves to the U.K. for 2022

Will Wicked be Getting a Sequel?

The Broadway play itself never received a continuation nor does the ending really necessitate one. However, despite the movie being just called Wicked, the adaptation will be a two-part event, with the second half of the epic saga concluding exactly one year later on Thursday, December 25th, 2025.