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Wicked movie casts Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo as its leads

Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande
(Image credit: Lionsgate/Fox)

The Wicked movie has finally cast its leads – Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo are set to play Glinda and Elphaba in the big-screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical. Directed by Jon M. Chu, the filmmaker behind In the Heights and Crazy Rich Asians, production is due to start in summer 2022.

Wicked opened on Broadway in 2003 and debuted on the West End – the show is still running in both New York and London. Based on the 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, it acts as a prequel and re-telling of The Wizard of Oz, following Elphaba (AKA the future Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda, the future Good Witch. The two start out as unlikely friends, but their differences eventually become too much for the pair. 

Erivo made her big-screen debut in 2018 alongside Viola Davis and Elizabeth Debicki in Widows. Since then, she has appeared in movies like Bad Times at the El Royale and Chaos Walking, and she'll play the Blue Fairy in the upcoming live-action remake of Pinocchio. Her acting career began on stage, however, and she's won a Tony Award and a Grammy. 

This will be Grande's first leading role in a movie, but she does have a supporting role in the upcoming Netflix movie Don't Look Up. She's best known for her musical career – she's released six albums and she's the first artist to hold the top three Billboard Hot 100 spots since The Beatles in 1964.

While we wait for Wicked to arrive on the big screen, check out our list of the other upcoming movies to get excited about in 2021 and beyond. 

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.