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‘Wicked’ fans start petition to keep James Corden out of film adaptation

"James Corden in no way shape or form should be in or near the production of Wicked the movie"

By Hollie Geraghty

James Corden presenting on The Late Late Show With James Corden
(Photo: YouTube).

A petition has been started to keep James Corden from being cast in the film adaptation of the hit musical ‘Wicked’.

Last week Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo were announced to star in the adaptation, but fans are worried Corden’s recent casting streak might land him a role too.

The actor and talk show host has appeared in several adaptations in recent years, including ‘Cats’, ‘Cinderella’ and ‘The Prom’.

Now fans are determined to keep him out of the beloved stage show’s adaptation and have launched a Change.org petition.

Creator Mikel Miller wrote in the description: “James Corden in no way shape or form should be in or near the production of Wicked the movie. That’s pretty much it.”

The petition surpassed its goal of 35,000 signatures, and has now set a new target of 50,000.

Corden’s most recent performance stunt suffered backlash when he was filmed thrusting at cars in a rat costume for a segment on ‘The Late Late Show with James Corden’ to promote the release of ‘Cinderella’.

‘Wicked’ the film is set to be directed by ‘In the Heights’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ director Jon M. Chu and is due to begin production in the UK in June 2022.

It is set in the same world as the Wizard of Oz and tells the story of witches Elphaba and Glinda, whose friendship soon develops into a simmering rivalry.

Last December, Corden was heavily criticised for his “offensive” performance in ‘The Prom’, in which he features as struggling gay Broadway star Barry Glickman.

AwardsWatch editor Erik Anderson said Corden’s performance was “truly disgusting”, adding “the worst gayface in a long, long time.”

Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson also wrote that Corden’s performance was “insulting”, adding that Corden was shown “flitting and lisping around in the most uninspired of caricatures”.

The actor also faced controversy after the 2020 Oscars when he attempted to make light of the poor critical response that ‘Cats’ received after its release in December 2019.

Corden and Rebel Wilson dressed at their ‘Cats’ characters while presenting the Best Achievement in Visual Effects award, and joked: “As cast members of the motion picture ‘Cats’, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects.”

The Visual Effects Society criticised the Academy for making “visual effects the punchline”.

“The best visual effects in the world will not compensate for a story told badly,” a statement from the society read.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, who composed the original musical, revealed that he bought a therapy dog after he saw the “off-the-scale all wrong” film adaptation.