Wicked Movie Casts Ariana Grande & Cynthia Erivo In Lead Roles

The Wicked movie stars Ariana Grande as Glinda, and Cynthia Erivo plays Elphaba. This highly anticipated adaptation of the screenplay is set for release in 2019.

Universal’s upcoming film adaptation, Wicked, has now cast Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo in the two lead roles. Grande and Erivo have both made a name for themselves with their unique acting and singing talents. Both stars have roots in the theatre, with Grande launching her career as a teenager after starring in the Broadway musical 13 in 2008. Grande went on to act in two Nickelodeon series before becoming the Grammy Award-winning mega-star she is today. Erivo’s career took off after she memorably portrayed the character of Celie in Broadway’s The Color Purple, a role that earned her both a Tony Award and a Grammy.

Bringing the beloved Wicked musical to the screen has been an extensive and impeded effort. Universal announced the plans for the film in 2004. The film was then slated to premiere in 2019. However, Wicked has seen several major delays since then, with June 2022 now planned as the official production start date. It was finally announced earlier this year that Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians, In The Heights) would be stepping in as the director after Stephen Daldry left the project in 2020.

Related: How Hamilton was made a movie (and why Broadway musicals aren’t)

Now, a major new update for the highly anticipated movie has come as Grande is set to star in Wicked as Glinda alongside Erivo as Elphaba. Director Jon M. Chu was the first to unveil the casting news with an announcement on Twitter. Chu’s post is below.

Things are finally looking up for the long-anticipated Wicked movie. This adaptation, which features Chu as the director and Grande and Erivo playing the two main roles should be a must-see. Chu has certainly proven he has what it takes to bring this musical to the big screen after successfully adapting Lin-Manuel Miranda’s acclaimed In The Heights musical this past summer. While Grande and Erivo’s superb acting/singing talents make them both perfect for the lead roles, the fact that they both have a history of performing on stage will add a deeper quality to the production as they will approach it with a genuine appreciation for the art.

However, it’s still somewhat difficult to predict at this point how the successful the movie will turn out to be. Some may point to Universal’s big-screen adaptation of Cats, which also boasted a talented and star-studded cast, only to massively disappoint audiences after its release. Still, Wicked looks to be on incredibly solid ground at this point, and there seems to be plenty of time left to get this one right. Grande and Erivo’s announcement alone is enough to lead. Wicked has already all but secured tremendous ticket sales for Universal.

Next: In the Heights: Every Original Broadway Cast member in The Movie

Source: Jon M. Chu

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Chelsea Brown
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Chelsea Brown is a Screen Rant news editor. She graduated from Longwood University in Virginia, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Her original goal was to continue her career in mental health counseling, but she discovered that writing and movies are what she really wanted. She started in the field as a BuzzFeed Editorial Staff member, and joined the Screen Rant Team in February 2021. She loves to rant and write about nostalgia, especially when it involves the ’90s.

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