Wicked has found its leads. Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande will star in Universal’s adaptation of the hit musical that is to be directed by Crazy Rich Asians filmmaker Jon M. Chu. Erivo will play Elphaba while Grande will play Glinda.
A Wicked film has been in the works at Universal since 2004, a year after it debuted on Broadway. It went on to generate more than $1 billion in ticket sales, one of just three shows to do so.
Wicked adapts the novel by Gregory Maguire, and is a take on the Wizard of Oz story, telling of the friendship between the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda the Good Witch. Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics and Winnie Holzman wrote the book for the Broadway version.
Erivo is a two-time Oscar nominee for Harriet (2019), and was nominated for an Emmy for playing Aretha Franklin in Genius: Aretha. She boasts a Grammy and a Tony for The Color Purple and made her first big push into film acting with Bad Times at the El Royale (2018).