Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande Invent Evil

First installment of two-part film adaptation to arrive on Thanksgiving

Like just about every light movie musical trailer, the official preview for Wicked begins with ruminations on the origins of good and evil. “Are people born wicked? Or do they have wickedness thrust upon them?” asks a voice as a winged monkey flies over pointed hat. But the tone lifts a little as it shows the first meeting of the would-be Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba (actress Cynthia Erivo) meets the eventual Good Witch of the East, Glinda (Ariana Grande). “You’re green,” exclaims Glinda. “I am,” confirms Elphaba.

The trailer sets up the sorcery students’ early days as college roommates, which includes lighthearted pranks and jump scares. Before long, Elphaba is showing her powers, spinning flowers and lifting wheelchair-bound people into the air. Then as an act of jealous hazing, Glinda gifts Elphaba the pointed hat and perhaps that is the birth of wickedness. Cue the Wizard of Oz, more monkeys, and a wicker witch.


Filmmaker Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians, In the Heights) directed the picture, which is based on the stage musical based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.The film adaptation is rumored to build on the musical’s plot, which is a relief since the story has been split into two parts and would otherwise make for very short films. Stephen Schwartz, who cowrote the original play, said the films would include four previously unheard songs.

The first will arrive on Thanksgiving. And then after a brief, yearlong intermission, Act II will resume on Nov. 26, 2025. In addition to Erivo and Grande, the picture features Michelle Yeoh, Jeff Goldblum, Bowen Yang, and Peter Dinklage, among others.

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