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Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo cast in ‘Wicked’ musical film adaptation

They will pay the lead roles in the big screen Universal adaptation of 'Wicked'

By Charlotte Krol

Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo pictured
Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo. (Picture: YouTube/Ariana Grande; Wikimedia commons/Rhododendrites)

Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo are to star in the forthcoming film adaptation of ‘Wicked’.

Grande will portray Glinda (the Good Witch) and Erivo will play Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) in the Tony-winning musical helmed by ‘In the Heights’ director Jon M. Chu.

The adaptation has long been in the works, though it was stalled most recently by Stephen Daldry’s departure as director last October due to scheduling conflicts.

Stephen Schwartz, who penned the music and lyrics for the Broadway show, is adapting the screenplay with Winnie Holzman. It’s being produced by Marc Platt [via Variety].

Both Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo took to their Instagram accounts last night (November 4) to share the news, with each showing off congratulatory pink and green floral bouquets – the signature colours of Glinda and Elphaba.

“Dear Cynthia, honoured doesn’t even begin to cover it. I cannot wait to hug you. See you in Oz,” Grande wrote in a message to Erivo.

“‘Pink Goes Good With Green,'” the message from Erivo read. “Congratulations Miss A, The Part Was Made For You, I Look Forward To Sharing This Musical Journey With You.”

‘Wicked’ tells the stories of frenemies Glinda and Elphaba and precedes the events told in ‘The Wizard Of Oz’.

The stage show has had successful runs on both Broadway and the West End as well as in other parts of the world. In 2016, it surpassed $1 billion in total Broadway revenue, joining both ‘The Phantom Of The Opera’ and ‘The Lion King’ as the only Broadway shows to do so.

Grammy-winning star Grande has enjoyed working outside of pop music, getting her start on Broadway in the musical ’13’ and acting in other productions including ‘Victorious’ and Adam McKay’s upcoming film ‘Don’t Look Up’.

Erivo, meanwhile, is close to EGOT status, after receiving a Tony, a Grammy and a daytime Emmy award for her role as Celie in the 2015-2017 stage show revival of ‘The Color Purple’.

In 2018 Grande performed ‘The Wizard And I’ from ‘Wicked’ for NBC’s ‘A Very Wicked Halloween’ special. Later that night she shared a photo with Idina Menzel, who portrayed Elphaba in the musical’s original Broadway run.

The pop star also enlisted Kristin Chenoweth, who starred alongside Menzel as Glinda, to be her team advisor on the US version of ‘The Voice’. Chenoweth and Grande previously performed together on Chenoweth’s album ‘For The Girls’ to cover Lesley Gore’s ‘You Don’t Own Me’.