Pop star Ariana Grande and British actress Cynthia Erivo will soon be defying gravity in Universal’s new big-screen adaptation of the Tony-winning musical.
Grande and Erivo will portray Glinda the Good and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, respectively, in Universal’s big-screen adaptation of the Tony-winning musical helmed by “In the Heights” director Jon M. Chu. Chu has been attached to the project since February, following the departure of Stephen Daldry last October due to scheduling conflicts.
The stars announced their castings in respective Instagram posts on Thursday evening.
“Dear Cynthia, honored doesn’t even begin to cover it. I cannot wait to hug you. See you in Oz,” Grande wrote in a message to Erivo, sent with a pink and green floral arrangement (the signature colors of Glinda and Elphaba).
In one photo, the “Thank U, Next” singer is seen on a video call with director Jon M. Chu (“In the Heights,” “Crazy Rich Asians”) and her co-star Erivo.
Grande also shared a snap of the flowers Erivo sent her, which included a note that read, “‘Pink goes good with green.’ Congratulations Miss A, the part was made for you, I look forward to sharing this musical journey with you.”
Wicked tells the story of everything leading up to Dorothy’s arrival in the Land of Oz. Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth portrayed the lead roles of Elphaba and Glinda in the original Broadway musical. The show has resumed live performances on Broadway now that theaters there have begun to reopen.
Stephen Schwartz wrote both music and lyrics for the Broadway show, and he’s adapting the screenplay with Winnie Holzman. Marc Platt, the same man who produced the Broadway musical, is set to also produce the film, so we know the show will be in good hands.
Ariana Grande is obviously hugely popular outside our genre, but if you had any questions as to whether she can handle the job, have a look at this. It’s a performance of The Wizard and I, which she gave at the Wicked 15th Anniversary Enjoy this iconic performance of the musical’s song ‘The Wizard and I’ as performed by Grande in 2018 for the Wicked 15th Anniversay.