The upcoming film adaptation of the blockbuster musical Wicked, starring Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo, is set to be split into two movies.
The film’s director, Jon M Chu, announced the news in a letter to Instagram, explaining that they made the decision to avoid “fatal compromises on the source material that has entertained us all for so many years.” .
He said the two films would allow them to bring “even more depth and surprise” to the classic story, with their big-screen debut set to take place during back-to-back Christmas holidays beginning in December 2024.
Chu, the filmmaker best known for 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians and 2021’s In The Heights, wrote in the statement, “Thank you for all of the support over the past few months in anticipation of the Wicked movie.
“We have so many exciting things to share, but for now I’ll give you one… or rather two.
“Here’s what happened: As we prepared this production over the last year, it became increasingly clear to us that it would be impossible to fit Wicked’s story into a single film without really doing damage to it.
“When we attempted to shorten songs or trim characters, those decisions felt like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years.”
He continued: “So we decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and not just make one Wicked movie but TWO!!!!
“With more space, we can tell the story of Wicked the way it was meant to be told, while bringing even more depth and surprise to the journeys of these beloved characters.”
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The filmmaker added that Grande, Erivo and himself are committed to “creating nothing short of an experience that honors its foundation for all the fans that have waited for this film”.
Chart-topping pop star Grande, 28, who will play Glinda, also shared the statement on her Instagram alongside her character’s grades, writing, “Some exciting news :)”
Oscar-nominated British actress Erivo, 35, who will star as Elphaba, did the same, adding a series of witch and wand emojis.
Wicked debuted on Broadway in October 2003 with Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth and Joel Gray as original cast members, playing Elphaba, Glinda and The Wizard, respectively.
The show tells the backstory of The Wizard Of Oz and what happened before Dorothy arrived in the enchanted world.
It started in the West End in 2006 and is set at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/ariana-grande-and-cynthia-erivos-wicked-to-be-split-into-two-films-41590869.html Wicked by Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo will be split into two films