It was just announced by Jon M. Chu that the WICKED movie will be released in two parts. The films will be released a year apart, beginning with the 2024 Holiday season.
Read the full announcement from Jon M. Chu below.
"Thank you for all the support these past several months in anticipation of the WICKED movie. We have so many exciting things to share but for now l'm giving you one.. or two, rather. Here's what happened: as we prepared this production over the last year, it became increasingly clear that it would be impossible to wrestle the story of WICKED into a single film without doing some real damage to it.
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. So 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 of these beloved characters.
Cynthia, Ariana, and I-and all of the cast and crew-pledge to create nothing less than an experience that honors its foundation for all the fans who've waited for this movie, and to offer a thrilling, fantastical world full of dynamic characters that invites in those who are untamiliar. So get ready, because WICKED is finally coming to you on successive Christmas holidays beginning December 2024. Until then, I will be keeping you up to date throughout rehearsals, the shoot, and even editing. Here. We. Go."
Jon M. Chu is set to direct the upcoming film. Chu recently directed the acclaimed film adaption of In the Heights. Chu's other directorial credits include Crazy Rich Asians, Now You See Me 2, and Jem and the Holograms.
The film will be led by Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award winner Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and Grammy Winner Ariana Grande as Glinda. Their pair's casting was announced through their Instagram accounts in November 2021.
Erivo made her Broadway debut reprising her starring role as 'Celie' in the critically acclaimed revival of "The Color Purple." She first played the role in 2013 at London's Menier Chocolate Factory and her performance on Broadway earned her several awards, including the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, a Grammy award as a principal soloist on original cast recording of "The Color Purple" (Best Musical Theater Album), a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program, the Drama Desk Award, Theatre World, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Erivo is also a two-time Academy Award nominee for her leading performance and original song for the film Harriet.
Ariana Grande began professionally pursuing her musical career at only eight-years-old. She appeared in the original Broadway cast of Jason Robert Brown's 13: The Musical and played Penny Pingleton in the 2016 NBC live telecast of Hairspray. With albums including "Sweetener," "Thank U, Next," and "Positions," Grande is the winner of two Grammy awards, one Brit Award, two Billboard Music Awards, three American Music Awards, nine MTV Video Music Awards, and 26 Guinness World Records.
Currently the 5th longest-running show in Broadway history, Wicked is the winner of over 100 international awards including the Grammy Award and three Tony Awards. Since opening in 2003, Wicked has been performed in over 100 cities in 16 countries around the world (U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, Germany, Holland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, The Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Switzerland and China) and has thus far been translated into six languages: Japanese, German, Dutch, Spanish, Korean and Portuguese. Wicked has been seen by over 60 million people worldwide and has amassed over $5 billion in global sales.