Erivo: Caitlin Cronenberg; Grande: ap
Get ready for an early return to Oz.
“Wicked,” Universal’s big-screen adaptation of the popular Broadway musical, will hit theaters November 27, 2024 — a month earlier than scheduled. The film was initially scheduled to open on December 25, but the studio felt it would be better off around Thanksgiving than it would be around Christmas.
Although the release calendar will change over the next couple of years, there is currently only a Disney Animation placeholder on the docket during Thanksgiving 2024. By comparison, Christmastime is filled with “Avatar 3” (the sequel to the third-highest-grossing movie in history) , as well as “Sonic the Hedgehog 3.”
John M. Chu is directing Wicked, which has been split into two parts. Right now, the second installment is set to be released a year later on December 25, 2025. (There aren’t any “Avatar” sequels planned for 2025… for now.)
“We’re deep into production on ‘Wicked’ and every day we get more and more excited to share with you the mischief we’ve been about to do. So…we’ve decided to bring it to you all a little earlier than planned,” Chu wrote on Twitter. “A little Thanksgiving treat!”
In a Wizard of Oz-type prologue, “Wicked” tells everything that happened before Dorothy walked the yellow brick road and tells the story of how a green-skinned woman named Elphaba became the Wicked Witch of the West. Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande star in the film as Elphaba and Glinda, who form an unlikely friendship that is torn apart by outside forces. Additional cast members include Jonathan Bailey as Fierro, Jeff Goldblum as The Healer, Michelle Yeoh as Madame Morehews, and Ethan Slater as Bok.
The original production of “Wicked” premiered in 2003, with Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth in the lead roles, and remains one of Broadway’s longest-running shows.
Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway show, is adapting the script for Winnie Holzman. Marc Platt, the producer of the musical, is also producing the film. Along with classics like “Defying Gravity” and “Popular,” the movie version is expected to include at least two new songs.
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