An adaptation of the Broadway musical Wicked is coming to theaters and there has been a lot of info announced about the cast, release date, and much more. The Wicked musical is an adaptation of the book series The Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire that were themselves a revisionist take on The Wizard of Oz books by L. Frank Baum and the 1939 movie adaptation. The film version of Wicked is a few degrees of separation from the original ur-text. The Wicked Years is divided into four novels while the Broadway musical adapts the first, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.


In 2003, Stephen Schwartz adapted the novel to Broadway as composer and lyricist and worked with Winnie Holzman to write the book (the narrative structure of a play). Like the novel, Wicked focuses on The Wizard of Oz witches before and after the events of the latter. Witches Elphaba and Galinda are the main characters and the musical gives context to the known story of Oz, introducing themes of forgiveness, trust, and discrimination. It’s a hugely successful musical, having run on Broadway since 2003, and the film adaptation is highly anticipated, and each detail about the production adds to the hype.

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Wicked Latest News

Elphaba in Wicked musical singing

As the release date for Wicked gets closer, the production crew appears to be as excited as the fans themselves. Director Jon Chu took to Twitter to discuss Wicked to answer questions and gets people excited. Chu responded to tweets about Wicked, detailing how amazing production has been and that the performances have made him cry on multiple occasions. He also mentioned that he will be recording everything during production which means there should be a lot of behind-the-scenes footage forthcoming. While Chu wasn’t able to give away any plot details his palpable excitement is a good sign for the film.

Wicked Confirmed

Idina Menzel As Elphaba And Kristin Chenoweth As Glinda In Wicked looking at each other

The timeline for the Wicked adaptation has been scattered. The rights for Wicked were originally purchased by ABC in 2009 and in 2011, the production company paired with Salma Hayek’s production company for a miniseries (via EW). It was then reported in 2012, that Wicked was getting a big screen film adaptation and the release was set for 2016 with a new director helming, Stephen Daldry (Collider). More production delays led to the release being pushed to 2019. After Wicked missed that weekend release date, Daldry left the project; and in 2021, Jon Chu signed on as director (Deadline) and the yellow-brick road-like journey was underway.

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However, issues with Wicked were not yet over and delays again moved the production start to June 2022. It wasn’t until December 2022 that Chu confirmed on Twitter that filming had commenced. After setbacks and delays, it would appear that Wicked has finally settled down into production. Chu’s Twitter spree would seem to confirm that actors and crew are all together now and working their way through the admittedly formidable task of filming one part of huge production of one of the most famous Broadway plays of all time.

Wicked Release Date

Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel performing on Broadway's Wicked

On Twitter, Chu announced that Wicked would be released in two parts, and while that may have signaled some more production issues, splitting Wicked makes sense considering the length and structure of the Broadway play. What’s more, Chu also announced at the same time that the films would be released on Christmas a year apart. Wicked Part 1 will show in theaters on December 25th, 2024 and the sequel will release December 25th, 2025.

Related: Wicked Movie Release Dates Set For Christmas 2024 & 2025

The musical is a two-act structure and has a handful of time jumps that cover multiple years, so splitting up the movie into two parts would be the best way to make sure the breadth of the story is captured. Two-part films have gone somewhat out of style in recent years with the advent of streaming but were once the only way to release large-production fantasy films when Harry Potter and The Hunger Games were the movie culture. Splitting Wicked to avoid cutting songs and characters may prove critically successful for Chu and financially for Universal.

Wicked Cast

Wicked movie cast

Most of the Wicked cast has been announced, with filming beginning in 2022. The biggest announcement came when Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo were cast as Glinda and Elphaba respectively. The ensemble cast also includes Jonathan Bailey (Fiyero Tigelaar), Michelle Yeoh (Madame Morrible), Bowen Yang (Pfannee), Bronwyn James (ShenShen), Keala Settle (Miss Coddle), Aaron Teoh (Avaric), and Colin Michael Carmichael (Professor Nikidik). Veteran child actor Marissa Bode will be making her feature film debut as Elphaba’s younger sister, Nessarose. In an exciting bit of casting, Chu announced via Twitter that Jeff Goldblum will play The Wizard of Oz. Rounding out the main cast is Ethan Slater as Boq (via Collider).

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Wicked Story Details

Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel as the witches in Wicked

With Wicked being divided up into two films, it would make sense for the movies to follow the two-part structure of the stage musical and adhere to its storyline. Chu has been silent on how closely the film will follow the musical, but they will necessarily need to follow similar plot beats, assuming the same music will be used. The Wicked musical follows Elphaba and Galinda (who eventually becomes Glinda) as they go to university and room together. Elphaba, who was born green, is picked on by the other student until the blonde-haired and popular Galinda takes her under her wing.

Galinda and Elphaba begin to grow apart and characters from The Wizard of Oz enter the story in unexpected ways. The journey from college-aged women to the Witches of the North and West will likely be covered in the first film while the second movie will probably deal with Dorothy. The end of Wicked parallels The Wizard of Oz while adding new information that enhances and changes the breadth of that story. Wicked the musical starts later in the plot and then jumps back in time. It will be a challenge to depict the unusual plot structure and Wicked will have to overcome this problem if it wants to succeed.

Wicked Trailer Info

Elphaba and chorus performing Defying Gravity in Wicked musical

Wicked currently has no trailer released, and the movie is still in production, so a trailer will not be released for a long while. Particularly, if the movies are being shot simultaneously, filming may run even longer, and it will take time for the studio to decide how much to reveal in their first trailer. Due to the well-documented production delays of Wicked, it would be wise of the studio to at least release a teaser before 2024 in order to confirm to audiences that there is concrete evidence of the movie production being on schedule.

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