The Wizard of Oz is maybe the most beloved movie of all-time. That’s nice and all, but how can it be franchised? There have been many different spins on the original story by author L. Frank Baum. Remember Oz, the Great and Powerful? Yeah, me neither. Well, the most popular to emerge has been Wicked, the Broadway stage musical from Winnie Holzman and Stephen Schwartz, an adaptation of Gregory Maguire’s 1995 book.
A feature film of Wicked has been in the works for ages, but the pieces didn’t come together until Universal hired Jon M. Chu to direct. He’s got a knack for big-screen musicals, having directed In the Heights, and other blockbuster films including Crazy Rich Asians and Now You See Me 2…and GI Joe: Retaliation.
Leading the cast are Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba Throp, with the story centering on her journey to become the Wicked Witch of the West. Ariana Grande plays Glina Upland aka Glinda the Good.
Also in the cast are Jonathan Bailey, Ethan Slater, Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Yeoh, Ethan Slater, and Marissa Bode.
Here’s the synopsis: Wicked, the untold story of the witches of Oz, stars Emmy, Grammy and Tony winning powerhouse Cynthia Erivo (Harriet, Broadway’s The Color Purple) as Elphaba, a young woman, misunderstood because of her unusual green skin, who has yet to discover her true power, and Grammy-winning, multi-platinum recording artist and global superstar Ariana Grande as Glinda, a popular young woman, gilded by privilege and ambition, who has yet to discover her true heart. The two meet as students at Shiz University in the fantastical Land of Oz and forge an unlikely but profound friendship. Following an encounter with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, their friendship reaches a crossroads and their lives take very different paths. Glinda’s unflinching desire for popularity sees her seduced by power, while Elphaba’s determination to remain true to herself, and to those around her, will have unexpected and shocking consequences on her future. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfill their destinies as Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.
It’s been a long road, and this is a big story, which is why it’s been split into two movies. Wicked: Part One opens in theaters on November 27th. Wicked: Part Two arrives on November 26th 2025.