Everything We Know About the Upcoming ‘Wicked’ Movie

The first official trailer dropped during the Super Bowl.

Wicked Trailer


Wicked is gearing up to be the movie event of the year, and its arrival has been a long time in the making. The film — an adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, which was adapted from a 1995 novel by Gregory Macguire — had murmurs of hitting the big screen ever since its Broadway production starring Indina Menzel (Elphaba) and Kristin Chenoweth (Glinda the Good Witch) earned critical acclaim following its 2003 debut.

Now, 20 years later, and following a major stall in production due to the coronavirus pandemic in the earlier 2020s, Wicked is officially hitting theaters this year and has a stacked cast consisting of Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande (in her first major feature-length role) as the new Elphaba and Glinda, respectively. 

Wicked was originally slated to be directed by Stephen Daldry (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Billy Elliott the Musical Live, The Reader), but after dropping out from the project in October of 2020, Jon M. Chu — whose credits includes Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, Crazy Rich Asians, Step Up 2 and Step Up 3, and two Justin Bieber concert films — signed onto the project. Stephen Schwartz, who wrote songs in the original musical, is working on the movie alongside Winnie Holzman, writer of the musical book, and Marc Platt, the original Broadway musical producer for Wicked.

Ahead of the film’s arrival, here’s everything you need to know about the Wicked movies. (Yes, plural — more on that later.)

'Wicked' Movie Synopsis

Wicked serves double duty by acting as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz and explains how Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Galinda (who eventually changes her name to Glinda) interacted with each other during their school days at Shiz University. The women start off as roommates who hate each other and later develop a friendship that devolves into them becoming political enemies when the Wizard brings Elphaba down in order to and boost alinda's power within the community. 

Wicked movie poster


How Many 'Wicked' Movies Are There?

Since the magic of Wicked cannot be contained to just one film, Chu revealed in April of 2022 that the story will be split into two — a decision that he said came from wanting to maintain the integrity of the story. 

“As we prepared the production over the last year, it became impossible to wrestle the story of Wicked into a single film without doing some real damage to it," Chu shared in a statement written from his “OzPhone” and posted to X. "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. 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 for these beloved characters."

While it's unclear what will extend the movie into requiring a second part, Schwartz did reveal back in 2016 (during the movie’s development stage) that new songs were added to the script. “I can tell you that at least as of now there will be probably four new songs in the movie,” he said during his Comic-Con appearance that year. Playbill further added that of those four songs, three were entirely new, with one that was previously cut from the Broadway play.

The 'Wicked' Cast

You know him, and chances are you’ve swooned over him as Anthony Bridgerton — Johnathan Bailey will take on the role of Fiyero, and will be using his Bridgerton acting chops to sweep both Elphaba and Glinda off their feet in the movie.

Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once, Crazy Rich Asians) is set to play Madame Morrible, and will serve as the headmistress of Shiz University who also serves as the Wizard’s advisor. Yeoh revealed that upon taking the role, she might have been putting herself at a disadvantage for receiving dramatic work in the future, despite working with Chu on the critically acclaimed 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians.

"I'm trying something new right now — filming Jon Chu's Wicked movie, which will be my first musical," she told Entertainment Weekly in May 2023. "It's very exciting, and I can't wait for you all to see it. It was a risk, but you will never know which doors will open for you unless you try them all."

Jeff Goldblum will star as the Wizard, and while he seems to enjoy his time on the project, he revealed that working on Wicked has brought up a childhood fear of his. 

“I was shooting one day and I found myself tearing up in fear. A childhood fear came back to me and I told Cynthia Erivo, I said, 'You know, I'm remembering my first dream that I ever had,'" he said during a March 2023 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! "My first dream was that I was tied to a tree stump and a witch — because I'd seen Snow White, also with a very scary queen witch — had tied me to this tree stump and I thought was going to chop off my head … I must've been four or something like that, and she went, 'peaches, peaches.'"

Elsewhere in the interview, Golblum revealed that he and his children can’t get through the original 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz, because it’s too scary.

Other members of the cast include:

  • Marissa Bode, who will play Elphaba’s sister Nessarose (Nessa) and uses a wheelchair like her character in the movie
  • Ethan Slater, known for playing SpongeBob in SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical, who will play Nessa’s munchkin boyfriend, Boq 
  • Bowen Yang of Saturday Night Live, who will take on the smaller role of Pfannee, Elphaba and Glinda’s classmate at university
  • Bronwyn James and Aaron Teoh, who will both play students at Shiz University
  • Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman) and Colin Michael Carmichael (Hot Fuzz), who will play Miss Coddle and Professor Nikidik, respectively 
  • Adam James (I May Destroy You), who will also take on the newly added role of Galinda's father

'Wicked' Movie Release Date

The first of the two Wicked films will be released on Nov. 27, 2024 (the film was originally scheduled for a December 2024 release). The second of the Wicked movies will premiere on Nov. 26, 2025.

Watch the 'Wicked' Trailer

The trailer for Wicked made its premiere with a commercial spot during Super Bowl LVIII. After the trailer aired live, Universal Pictures shared the first look to its YouTube channel. It is now available to watch below: 

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