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Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo to star in movie version of Wicked

Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo
Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo (Photos: Shutterstock)

The big-screen version of Wicked has just cast its lead witches. The show famously covers the backstory to the Wizard of Oz, focussing on the witches of Oz when younger.

Hitmaker Ariana Grande will take the role of Galinda and Cynthia Erivo will take the part of Elphaba.

The musical, for Universal, will be helmed by In The Heights’ Jon M. Chu. Stephen Daldry had originally been tied to the project but withdrew late last year due to scheduling conflicts.

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Both Erivo and Grande posted photos to Instagram of themselves receiving the news in a Zoom call from Chu.

Chu also posted photos of the call, adding the caption: “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!!!”


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Wicked is now in its 18th year on Broadway, and has also proved a hit in theaters around the world. The movie version will be filmed in the UK in 2022.


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British actress Erivo first shot to widespread attention in The Color Purple on Broadway and in London. She earned a Tony, Grammy, and daytime Emmy award for that role, and has also been nominated for two Oscars, two Golden Globes and a SAG award (her role as Harriet Tubman in the movie Harriet, in particular, earned many plaudits). She released her debut album, ​​Ch. 1 Vs. 1, in September.

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The Grammy-winning, multi-platinum Grande is one of the biggest pop stars in the world but is also no stranger to acting. She got one of her first big breaks at the age of 15, playing Charlotte in the Broadway run of 13.

In 2016, she starred as “Penny Pingleton” in Hairspray Live! for NBC, and will soon be seen in the forthcoming Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence movie, Don’t Look Up.


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