Ariana Grande, Cynthia Erivo lead cast of big-screen adaptation of ‘Wicked’

The much-awaited musical film just found its witches.

Ariana Grande, Cynthia Erivo lead cast of big-screen adaptation of 'Wicked'
(Images: Getty/David Crotty/Patrick McMullan; Getty/Elisabetta Villa)

They’re already big stars, but Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande are set to defy gravity even further as the duo lands the lead roles in Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of Wicked.

Erivo and Grande will portray The Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, and The Good Witch of the North, Glinda, respectively. 

Though rumors of their casting have been swirling since February when the In the Heights director was attached to the project, the two only officially broke the news this Thursday in their respective Instagram posts.

“Dear Cynthia,” Grande wrote in a letter posted by Erivo. “Honored doesn’t even begin to cover it. I cannot wait to hug you. See you in Oz.” The letter came in a pink and green floral arrangement, an ode to the signature colors of the two witches.

“Pink goes good with green,” Erivo’s letter to Grande read. “Congratulations Miss A. The part was made for you. I look forward to sharing this musical journey with you.”

Fans celebrated the on-point casting of the pair, who both boast accolades that befit their musical roles. Erivo is only an Oscar-win short of the EGOT status, having won a Daytime Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony award for her role in the musical revival of The Color Purple. Grande, on the other hand, who has a couple of Grammys under her belt, kicked off her Broadway career on the musical 13 and is set to make her feature debut in Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence.

Universal’s Wicked adapts the novel by Gregory Maguire. It serves as a prequel to the Wizard of Oz story and explores the fickle friendship between the Wicked Witch of the West and the Good Witch of the North before Dorothy’s arrival. 

It first debuted on Broadway in 2003 and went on to rake in more than $1 billion in ticket sales, becoming the second-best-selling Broadway show in history behind The Lion King.

Plans for a big-screen adaptation of Wicked were formed as early as 2004 and was most recently delayed by the departure of Stephen Daldry as its director. Jon Chu is now helming the project from a screenplay by Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the original music and lyrics to the Broadway show, with Winnie Holzman.

Wicked has yet to receive an official release date. 


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