It’s been three years since it was first announced that Wicked would be making its way from the stage to the big screen – and now, we finally have a release date (and a jazzy new trailer, to boot). Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming duology, including where to watch it in the UK.
Wicked: Everything We Know So Far
What Is Wicked About?
The upcoming two-part film series has been adapted from the musical Wicked, which in turn was based on the 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire as well as characters from the classic 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
The production, which has been labelled as a musical fantasy film, follows Elphaba Thropp, a green-skinned woman who eventually becomes the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda Upland, a popular classmate of Elphaba’s who goes on to become Glinda the Good.
As Universal Pictures, the film’s distributor, summarises:
‘Wicked, the untold story of the witches of Oz, stars Emmy, Grammy and Tony winning powerhouse Cynthia Erivo (Harriet, Broadway’s The Color Purple) as Elphaba, a young woman, misunderstood because of her unusual green skin, who has yet to discover her true power, and Grammy-winning, multi-platinum recording artist and global superstar Ariana Grande as Glinda, a popular young woman, gilded by privilege and ambition, who has yet to discover her true heart.
‘The two meet as students at Shiz University in the fantastical Land of Oz and forge an unlikely but profound friendship. Following an encounter with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, their friendship reaches a crossroads and their lives take very different paths. Glinda’s unflinching desire for popularity sees her seduced by power, while Elphaba’s determination to remain true to herself, and to those around her, will have unexpected and shocking consequences on her future. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.’
The film is set to come out in two parts, with the original release dates delayed due to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike.
Much of the cast of Wicked has already been revealed, with Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande cast as the leads back in 2021. You can see the full list of known cast members below:
- Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba Thropp
- Ariana Grande as Glinda Upland
- Michelle Yeoh as Madame Morrible
- Jeff Goldblum as the Wonderful Wizard of Oz
- Jonathan Bailey as Fiyero Tigelaar
- Ethan Slater as Boq
- Marissa Bode as Nessarose Thropp
- Bowen Yang as Pfannee
- Bronwyn James as ShenShen
- Keala Settle as Miss Coddle
- Aaron Teoh as Averic
- Colin Michael Carmichael as Professor Nikidik
- Adam James as Glinda’s father
While the actress playing her has yet to be announced, the film will also feature The Wizard of Oz‘s Dorothy Gale, a Kansas farm girl who is accidentally transported to the Land of Oz by tornado.
Will The Songs Stay The Same?
It’s expected that the musical’s original soundtrack will indeed make its way over to the Wicked film, with the addition of a new song. ‘We found it very difficult to get past “Defying Gravity” without a break,’ said original musical and film screenplay writer Stephen Schwartz in an interview with Variety. ‘That song is written specifically to bring a curtain down, and whatever scene to follow it without a break just seemed hugely anti-climactic.
‘Even as a very long single movie, it required us cutting or omitting things that we wanted to include and that we think fans of the show and the story will appreciate, he continued. ‘What we have discussed is that changes need to be “additive,” to use [producer] Marc Platt’s term. They need to add something to the story or the characters. They can’t just be changes to do something different. I feel confident that by the time the movie is made, if we all continue to have the same degree of input, I could have a conversation with anyone who has a question about any of the changes made from the stage show and justify why I think it’s better for the movie.’
Director Jon M. Chu also revealed the vocals of the actors during the musical numbers were recorded live on set.
Where Was Wicked Filmed?
Much of principle filming for Wicked took place in the UK, mainly at Sky Studios in Elstree. Some outdoor filming also took place at Ivinghoe Turf in Buckinghamshire.
Is There A Trailer?
Yes, an official trailer for Wicked dropped on 12 February 2024 via Universal Pictures. You can watch it below:
The first instalment of the Wicked duology is slated for a Thanksgiving release, hitting global cinemas on 27 November 2024 – while Wicked Part Two is scheduled to arrive in theatres on 26 November 2025.
Can You Stream Wicked?
Not yet, but we suspect that Wicked will eventually become available to stream on Peacock in the US and Sky in the UK.
Featured image: Sarah O’Connor as Glinda and Laura Pick as Elphaba on Wicked UK Tour. Photography by Matt Crockett.