A lot of film adaptations of musicals have gone by the wayside recently – looking at you two, Cats and Dear Evan Hansen – but the news that the upcoming Wicked adaptation has cast Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo in the lead roles is a good start. 

As per Variety, Grande and Erivo will portray Glinda and Elphaba respectively. Universal have also sought out the talents of Jon, M. Chu, director of the recently-acclaimed In the Heights, to helm the big-screen version of the beloved musical.

The stars showed their excitement about being cast in separate Instagram posts. “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 her new co-star, sent with a pink and green floral arrangement in honour of the signature colours of Glinda and Elphaba.

This could be a major role for Erivo: the actress only needs an Oscar to gain legendary EGOT status, having already won a Tony, Grammy, and Daytime Emmy for her work elsewhere.

Having started as a young actress in TV shows like Victorious before becoming a huge pop star, Wicked could signal another swing in career direction for Grande.

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Wicked is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, telling the story of the lead-up to Dorothy’s arrival in Oz. After premiering in San Francisco in 2003, it’s became one of the biggest musicals of all time.

That’s why a film adaptation has been discussed for a long time, since at least 2004. Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) had been attached to direct for several years but had to drop out in 2020 due to scheduling conflicts.

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Check out ‘The Wizard and I’ (Live at the Wicked 15th Anniversary Special) performed by Ariana Grande: