‘Wicked’ Cast Sets Cynthia Erivo As The Wicked Witch, Ariana Grande As The Good Witch

Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande are about to get witchy, as Deadline reports the duo will take the lead roles in the long-awaited adaptation of Wicked. Erivo will take on the role of Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West, with Grande as her social-climbing rival, Glinda the Good Witch in a reimagining/prequel to L. Frank Baum’s classic The Wizard of Oz.

The film is being directed by Jon M. Chu, the Step Up veteran who has been on a crazy streak with Crazy Rich Asians and In the Heights. The less said about Jem and the Holograms, the better.

Wicked has been a Broadway smash, running pretty consistently for the last 18 years and winning multiple Tony Awards and Grammys in the process. Gregory Maguire’s 1995 book inspired the stage production by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holtzman.

Both Erivo and Grande are Broadway veterans at this point, although they’ve got gigantic shoes to fill. Their roles were previously played by Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenowith and we know the starry path their careers have taken.

Like so many other productions, Wicked has been the victim of multiple delays. It had been set to open in December 2019 but had its spot taken by another major Broadway adaptation, Cats, which turned out to be a disaster. The film was then moved to December 2021 only to be replaced once again, this time by Sing 2. During that time, original director Stephen Daldry dropped out, only to have Chu, who is probably a better fit, step in.

Filming on Wicked begins next summer so a 2023 release is likely.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.