Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo to star in Wicked musical for Universal
BANG Showbiz English
Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo have been cast in the big-screen adaptation of Broadway classic Wicked.
Director Jon M. Chu surprised the ‘Thank U, Next’ hitmaker and the 34-year-old actress-and-singer on FaceTime with the news that they will portray Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, respectively, in the upcoming flick.
The 28-year-old pop superstar and the Tony Award-winner sent each other flowers to celebrate the casting news.
Ariana posted a screenshot of her reaction to the filmmaker’s announcement and a snap of the bouquet Cynthia sent with a note that read: “‘Pink goes good with green.’ Congratulations Miss A, the part was made for you. I look forward to sharing this musical journey with you.”
The ‘Widows’ star shared a similar carousel on her page on the social media app and Ariana had written in her note: “Dear Cynthia, Honored doesn’t even begin to cover it. I cannot wait to hug you. See you in Oz. All my love, Ari (sic).”
The director wrote: “These two witches!! The emotional moment I got to tell @cynthiaerivo and @arianagrande that they were our Elphaba and Galinda in the @WickedMovie for @unistudios wait until you see what they bring!! It is other worldly. Ahhhhh!!! (sic)”
And Idina Menzel, the original Elphaba, has led congratulations to the pair.
She wrote in the comments: “Congrats to two amazing women. May it change your lives for the better forever and ever as it has for us. So much love.”
Original director Stephen Daldry stepped away from the project last fall.
Universal had previously removed ‘Wicked’ from its release calendar as part of the COVID-19 pandemic after originally being slated for release on December 22 this year.
Marc Platt is producing, while original Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz and musical book writer Winnie Holzman wrote the screenplay.
‘Wicked’ is based on Gregory Maguire’s unauthorized 1995 prequel novel to ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and follows the unlikely friendship between Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba, who would become the Wicked Witch of the West.
The musical first debuted in San Francisco and Broadway in 2003 and has since become one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history, surpassing over $1 billion in total Broadway revenue.
The show was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, including for stars Kristin Chenoweth and Idina, and is well known for iconic anthems like ‘Defying Gravity’.
For Jon, the directorial role comes after he received critical acclaim for his 2018 movie ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, and ‘In the Heights’, a musical drama.