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Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo to Star in ‘Wicked’ Musical for Universal

Cynthia Erivo Ariana Grande Wicked
Erivo: Caitlin Cronenberg; Grande: AP

Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo are soon to be defying gravity.

Grande and Erivo will portray Glinda and Elphaba, respectively, in Universal’s big-screen adaptation of the Tony-winning musical helmed by “In the Heights” director Jon M. Chu. He has been attached to the project since February, and casting rumors for the film’s two main roles have been swirling for months.

The stars announced their castings in respective Instagram posts on Thursday evening.

“Dear Cynthia, honored doesn’t even begin to cover it. I cannot wait to hug you. See you in Oz,” Grande wrote in a message to Erivo, sent with a pink and green floral arrangement (the signature colors of Glinda and Elphaba).

Both stars are true multi-hyphenates, with Grammy-winning pop star Grande getting her start on Broadway in the musical “13” and acting in shows like “Victorious” and Adam McKay’s upcoming film “Don’t Look Up.” Erivo, on the other hand, is near EGOT status — having received a Tony, Grammy and daytime Emmy award for her role as Celie in the 2015-2017 revival of “The Color Purple.”

A prequel to “The Wizard of Oz,” “Wicked” tells the story of everything leading up to Dorothy’s arrival in Oz. In its original Broadway run, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth portrayed frenemies Elphaba, who would become the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda the Good Witch. With Broadway theaters reopening after a long pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “Wicked” has recently resumed its live performances.

The “Wicked” film adaptation has been a long time coming, and was most recently stalled by Stephen Daldry’s departure as director last October due to scheduling conflicts. Stephen Schwartz, who penned the music and lyrics to the Broadway show, is adapting the screenplay with Winnie Holzman. Marc Platt, who produced the Broadway musical, is set to also produce the film.

Enjoy this iconic performance of the musical’s song ‘The Wizard and I’ as performed by Grande in 2018.