Wicked movie finds its witches in Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo

A new generation of good and wicked witches have been cast for the movie musical

Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande
(Image credit: Getty)

Watch out for tornadoes. Polish your ruby slippers. We’re heading back to Oz. The long awaited Wicked movie has finally found its lead stars.

Wicked opened on Broadway in 2003 and cast a spell on the world. The musical has gone on to become the second most successful musical of all time at the box office, conjuring up a gross of $1.37 billion when the last known figures were reported in 2020.

It is second only to The Lion King musical which has grossed $1.68 billion.


The cast of Wicked on Broadway

(Image credit: John Lamparski/WireImage/Getty)

As a modern Broadway classic, it was only a matter of time that people would wonder when the movie adaptation would follow, following the likes of Mamma Mia, Phantom of the Opera and In the Heights.

Though it’s taken 18 years, the movie is finally starting to defy gravity and take flight.

Announcing their involvement with the movie, Ariana Grande, Cynthia Erivo and director Jon M Chu all shared the news with delighted fans on Instagram, posting screenshots of a group call between them.

Jon M Chu posted, "Wait until you see what they bring!! It is other worldly. Ahhhhh!!!"

A note from Ariana to Cynthia said, "Dear Cynthia, honored doesn't even begin to cover it. I cannot wait to hug you. See you in Oz."

Cynthia also sent flowers the other way, with a note that said, "Congratulations Miss A, the part was made for you, I look forward to sharing this musical journey with you. Love, Cynthia."

Ariana will play Glinda, the Good Witch and Cynthia will play Elphaba, the Wicked Witch.

The originators of the roles on Broadway, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, too to Twitter to congratulate both stars on stepping into the roles.

Who is Cynthia Erivo?

Cynthia Erivo will star as Elphaba, a role originated by Idina Menzel on Broadway, and Cynthia is no stranger to the Great White Way.

Cynthia Erivo

(Image credit: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

A vocal powerhouse, British star Cynthia has won a Tony, Grammy, and daytime Emmy for her role as Celie in the Broadway revival of The Color Purple.

She’s also appeared in films like Harriet (which earned her an Oscar nomination) and Widows, and most recently portrayed Aretha Franklin in the TV show Genius.

What is Wicked about?

Wicked is a prequel to the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz, referencing both the classic movie starring Judy Garland and L Frank Baum’s novels.

Wicked follows the life of Elphaba, who would become the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz.

Born a green witch, Elphaba is cast out from society and struggles with her identity as she grows up and goes to school with Galinda (who would go on to become Glinda the Good Witch).

The musical changes how we perceive the Wicked Witch, as well as introducing plenty of memorable Broadway standards, like Defying Gravity, Popular and For Good.

When is Wicked coming out?

There’s no news on the release date yet but production is slated to begin in June 2022, according to The Hollywood Reporter.