Something magical is happening in Oz, and audiences finally get a glimpse of all the green and pink action.
Universal premiered the first-ever footage of Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and Ariana Grande as Glinda in the movie version of “Wicked” at CinemaCon, the annual convention for movie theater owners in Las Vegas. Erivo and Grande weren’t on hand to perform, but viewers could hear the captivating sounds of classic Broadway tunes like “Defying Gravity” and “Popular” against the backdrop of dazzling, magical images.
The never-before-seen clip begins as Michelle Yeoh’s Madame Morrible works with green-skinned Elphaba to help her control her gift. “Once you learn to tap into your emotions, the sky’s the limit,” Morrible tells his student.
The featurette gives a sense of the large, brightly lit set and includes scenes of Elphaba wandering the halls of Shiz University before meeting Glinda, who presents her new roommate with that iconic pointed black hat. (It’s really, uh, sharp. Don’t you think?) Later in the trailer, Jeff Goldblum makes a cameo as the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, blonde Glinda bubbles up, and Elphaba sports her signature broomstick. .
But it’s the moments of brotherhood that stand out; “Wicked” reveals the backstory of the friends-turned-enemies known as the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch.
“Pink goes well with green,” Glinda told Elphaba as she tucked a flower behind her ear. “Look at you, you are beautiful. Elphaba tells her, “You really don’t have to do that,” to which Glinda famously replies, “I know. That’s what makes me so nice.
Jon M. Chu, who brought Lin Manuel Miranda’s hit musical “In the Heights” to the screen in 2021, is directing the two-part film “Wicked.” Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway show, is adapting the screenplay with Winnie Holzman.
“‘Wicked’ is about change, and things need to get better,” Chu says in video footage shown between clips of the film. He promises that Grande will “take your breath away” and that Erivo will “break your heart”.
One of Broadway’s oldest and most popular shows, “Wicked” is a prequel to the “Wizard of Oz” and chronicles everything that happened before Dorothy drove down that iconic yellow brick road. There were even a few glimpses in Wednesday’s footage of those ruby red slippers and that infamously deadly bucket of water.
“‘Wicked’ is a proud part of our heritage,” said Universal president Donna Langley, who called the film “a true cinematic spectacle.” She pointed out in the hall at Caesars Palace that the footage they were about to see was not complete, although the clips were warmly received by the crowd.
Langley backed the casting power of Grande and Erivo, saying they were born to play these roles. “They’re brilliant and they’re paired with an equally brilliant supporting cast,” she added.
The first “Wicked” hits theaters on November 27, 2024, and the second installment will follow on December 25, 2025.
During its CinemaCon presentation, Universal also offered looks at Christopher Nolan’s radical drama “Oppenheimer,” Illumination’s animated adventure “Migration,” the “Fast and Furious” sequel “Fast X,” and more. .
“You can see we have a steady stream of films throughout the year and beyond,” Langley said. “We will continue to be committed to bringing films of all shapes and sizes to your theaters.”