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Wicked Movie to Be Split Up Into Two Films

Wicked movie director Jon M. Chu (In the Heights, Crazy Rich Asians) announced today that we’re now getting not one but two films! In a post on his social channels, Chu shared the exciting news.

“Thank you for all the support these past several months in anticipation of the Wicked movie. We have so many exciting things to share, but for now, I’m giving you one… or two, rather,” he said.

He continued: “Here’s what happened: as we prepared this production over the last year, it became increasingly clear that it would be impossible to wrestle the story of Wicked into a single film without doing some real damage to it. As we tried to cut songs or trim characters, those decisions began to feel like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years.

“So we decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and make not just one Wicked movie but TWO!!! With more space, we can tell the story of Wicked as it was meant to be told while bringing even more depth and surprise to the journeys of these beloved characters.

Wicked Movie to Be Split Up Into Two Films

“Cynthia, Ariana, and I — and all of the cast and crew — pledge to create nothing less than an experience that honors its foundation for all the fans who’ve waited for this movie and to offer a thrilling, fantastical world full of dynamic characters that invite in those who are unfamiliar.

“So get ready because Wicked is finally coming to you on successive Christmas holidays beginning December 2024. Until then, I will be keeping you up to date throughout rehearsals, the shoot, and even editing. Here. We. Go.”

Emmy, Tony, and Grammy Award winner and two-time Academy Award nominee Cynthia Erivo and pop music sensation and Grammy Award-winning artist Ariana Grande will star. Erivo will play Elphaba, and Grande is set to portray Glinda.

Cynthia Erivo (Genius: Aretha) is a Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning actress, singer, and producer, as well as an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and SAG nominee. Erivo burst onto West End and Broadway stages in The Color Purple and has since taken the world by storm.

In addition to her illustrious acting career, Erivo is a Grammy-nominated songwriter and performer, often headlining sold-out shows, symphonies, and music spaces, including the Kennedy Center Honors, the 2020 Academy Awards, the 2017 Governor’s Ball, and the 2017 Grammy Awards.

Grammy-winning, multi-platinum recording artist and international superstar Ariana Grande (Don’t Look Up) is the first artist to hold the top three Billboard Hot 100 spots since The Beatles in 1964 with “7 Rings,” “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored,” and “Thank U, Next.” In 2020, she became the first and only artist to have five singles debut at #1 in the chart’s history.

In 2021, Grande made history as the first artist to simultaneously hold three top 10 spots on Billboard Pop Airplay and Mediabase Top 40 Charts with “positions,” “34+34,” and “pov.” By age 28, she released six albums, which have all gone platinum and have surpassed 98 billion streams globally — she’s Spotify’s most streamed female artist of the past decade — while rapidly becoming one of the biggest pop stars of our generation with her powerhouse vocals and unmatched presence both on stage and with her fans.

In 2019, Grande embarked on the Sweetener World Tour and performed over 100 shows throughout the year, including headliner sets at Lollapalooza and Coachella – where she was the youngest headliner in the festival’s history. In 2021, Grande was announced to join NBC’s The Voice as a coach.

At 15 years old, she landed the role of “Charlotte” in the Broadway production of 13. From there, she was cast in Nickelodeon’s Victorious, which led to a spin-off starring Grande’s character in Sam & Cat.

Grande’s other television credits include voice work in Family Guy, Winx Club, and Underdogs, with on-camera roles in Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens and a guest role in Jim Carrey’s Kidding. In 2016, Grande starred as “Penny Pingleton” in Hairspray Live! for NBC. That same year, she performed double duty as host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live.

Wicked, a three-time Tony Award-winning stage musical, was adapted from Gregory Maguire’s bestselling novel by book writer Winnie Holzman and three-time Oscar-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz. Holzman and Schwartz are currently collaborating on the screenplay adaptation.

With a national tour and multiple international productions, the stage musical has been seen by over 60 million people worldwide, making it one of the most successful theatrical ventures of all time.

Wicked has won over 100 international awards, including a Grammy Award and three Tony Awards, and has been performed in over 100 cities in 16 countries, including the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, Germany, Holland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, The Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Switzerland, and China.

The two-part Wicked movie will be produced by Marc Platt through his Universal-based Marc Platt Productions. Senior Executive Vice President of Production Erik Baiers and Vice President of Production Development Lexi Barta will oversee the project on behalf of Universal Pictures.