In the words of Wicked’s lead witch Elphaba, “Something has changed…something is not the same.” That’s how a lot of fans are feeling about the news that the upcoming film adaptation of the extremely “Popular” musical will now be told in two parts.
According to Variety, director Jon M. Chu (In the Heights) made the announcement on Twitter, confirming that the films will be released on Dec. 25, 2024 and Dec. 25, 2025. Well, Merry Christmas everyone!
“As we prepared the production over the last year, it became impossible to wrestle the story of Wicked into a single film without doing some real damage to it,” Chu wrote in a statement. “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. 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 for these beloved characters.”
As a die-hard Wicked fan who listens to the soundtrack countless times a week and sees the show anytime it’s anywhere near me, he’s not wrong. Just in case you’re not obsessed like me, the musical follows the story of Oz before Dorothy showed up, focusing on witches Elphaba and Glinda as they grow up in a changing world and eventually become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. Tony-winner Cynthia Erivo will play Elphaba, while pop superstar and self-professed Wicked superfan Ariana Grande co-stars as Glinda.
The reaction to Chu’s announcement has fans split, with some understanding that rearranging the story is a fact of life when stage musicals are transferred to movies. While others just want a straight up, traditional version of the show they love. Personally, the more Wicked the better. I can’t imagine a world where I don’t want to see Part One end with Cynthia Erivo belting out “Defying Gravity.” It’s the best possible Christmas present.
Now excuse me while I check and see when Wicked is coming back to town.