The Wicked movie adaptation, starring Tony winner Cynthia Erivo and Grammy winner Ariana Grande, will soar onto the big screen, not once but twice. Director Jon M. Chu announced via social media that the musical film will be split into two movies.
Universal Pictures will release the first film December 25, 2024. The second will arrive one year later, December 25, 2025.
Chu, best known for directing Crazy Rich Asians and the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights, says, "As we prepared this production over the last year, it became increasingly clear that it would be impossible to wrestle the story of Wicked into a single film without doing some real damage to it."
He went on to share that it felt impossible to cut songs and storylines for the adaptation without doing "fatal comprises to the source material." Read the director's full statement below.
Erivo will play Elphaba opposite pop superstar Grande as Glinda. Grande previously sang Elphaba's “The Wizard and I” for the musical's 15th anniversary concert on NBC in 2018, while Erivo sang “Thank Goodness” on PBS' Wicked in Concert special in 2021.
The movie's screenplay is written by Winnie Holzman, based on Gregory Maguire's Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West novel and Holzman's musical book. It is produced by Marc Platt, along with David Stone and Brian Popkin. The Broadway musical features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and continues at the Gershwin Theatre.