Listen up, witches! We finally have our official Glinda and Elphaba pairing for the live action Wicked movie!
The rumour that Universal was working on a live action Wicked movie has been in the rumour mill for years, leaving musical fans breathless with anticipation for the announcement of the coveted and iconic roles of Elphaba and Glinda. There was even talk at one point of getting the original Broadway cast – Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth – to reprise their roles for the live action, with both actresses having done screen work in the meantime.
However, the announcement came yesterday via Instagram as none other than Ariana Grande shared a screenshot of Zoom meeting with fellow cast members and directors, entitling the photo ‘Thank Goodness’, an iconic line form Glinda herself.
Cynthia Erivo was revealed as the Elphaba to Ariana’s Glinda, sharing the Zoom meeting screenshots also and captioning her Instagram ‘Pink goes good with Green’. The ‘Harriet’ star will be playing the misunderstood wicked witch of the west in Jon M. Chu's upcoming adaptation of the musical, which details how the wicked witch came to be the terror of Oz – a backstory to ‘The Wizard of Oz’ full of amazing musical number like ‘For Good, ‘Popular and ‘Defying Gravity’.
The actresses sent one another bouquets of flowers, with Cynthia writing a note that says ‘Pink goes good with green. Congratulations Miss A, the part was made for you, I look forward to sharing this musical journey with you.’
The ‘thank u next’ singer returned the favour, sending white and green flowers to the actress with a note saying ‘Dear Cynthia, honored doesn't even begin to cover it. I cannot wait to hug you. See you in Oz.’
Director Jon Chu also got in on the fun, posting an Instagram saying, ‘These two witches!! The emotional moment I got to tell @cynthiaerivo and @arianagrande that they were our Elphaba and Galinda in the @WickedMovie for @unistudios wait until you see what they bring!! It is other worldly. Ahhhhh!!!’
The casting announcement will certainly be a source of disappointment for some, as many actresses over the years have vied for the super coveted roles. Amanda Seyfried even recounts sending an audition tape of herself singing ‘Popular’ to director Jon (who directed ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and ‘In The Heights’) in an attempt to secure the role of Glinda and had imagined Anna Kendrick or Anne Hathaway playing Elphaba opposite her.
Idina Menzel also tossed her name in the ring for the role of Elphaba, wishing to reprise the role that won her a Tony back in 2004. Variety Magazine asked her about the upcoming project, Idina left no room for confusion:
‘I still think that I should be Elphaba and I should just show up, slap that green makeup on me and get some CGI and Benjamin Button the s–t out of that… I mean I love you, Ariana, but I still am relevant here.’
Production is scheduled to begin in the U.K. next summer.