Ding dong! The wicked witch is alive and well in the first trailer for “Wicked.”
Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande They are a vision in green and pink as they grace the fantastical land of Oz in Jon M. Chu’s upcoming musical film. And the first look at the film, which premiered during the Super Bowl on Sunday, plays out to the familiar strains of “Defying Gravity,” the show’s signature anthem.
“Don’t be afraid,” Grande’s Glinda reassures Erivo’s Elphaba.
“I’m not afraid,” Erivo responds with an iron voice. “It’s the Wizard who should be afraid of me.”
This is clearly a different Oz than the one Dorthy Gale found. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire that inspired the acclaimed Broadway musical of the same name, “Wicked” precedes Dorothy’s arrival in the wizarding world and tells the legend of the world and the story behind Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. Grande’s Galinda Upland later becomes Glinda the Good Witch.
The cast includes Michelle Yeoh as Madame Morrible; Jonathan Bailey as Fiyero Tigelaar; Ethan Slater as Boq; Bowen Yang as Pfannee; and Jeff Goldblum as the Wizard of Oz.
Goldblum’s idiosyncratic voice can also be heard in the visually sumptuous trailer, with his sly Wizard noting: “The best way to bring people together is to give them a really good enemy.” And it looks like Elphaba could be the villain waiting to explode.
“Something just takes over me and when it happens, bad things happen,” Elphaba tells Glinda.
Chu’s version of the musical was filmed in two parts to properly adapt the story. “As we prepared production over the last year, it became impossible to turn the story of ‘Wicked’ into a single film without doing real damage to it,” Chu said. he said in 2022.
“As we tried to cut songs or trim characters, those decisions began to feel like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years,” he added. “We decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and make not just one ‘Wicked’ movie but two! “With more space, we can tell the story of ‘Wicked’ as it should be told while also bringing even more depth and surprise to the journeys of these beloved characters.”
Composer Stephen Schwartz, author of “Wicked,” explained that the curtain-raiser “Defying Gravity” was one of the main reasons the film had to be made in two parts. In a 2022 newsletter, Schwartz wrote: “We found it very difficult to get through ‘Defying Gravity’ without a break. That song is written specifically to bring down the curtain, and any scene that followed it without interruption seemed wildly anticlimactic.”
“Wicked” wasn’t the only movie to take advantage of the huge Super Bowl audience to give fans a first look. “Deadpool 3” too released a trailer with Ryan Reynolds as Merc With a Mouth and Hugh Jackman reprising his role as Wolverine.
The first part of Chu’s “Wicked” will hit theaters on November 27, 2024. The “Second Part” is scheduled for November 26, 2025.
Watch the trailer below.