Prepare for an earlier return to Oz.
“Wicked,” Universal’s big-screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, is landing in theaters on Nov. 27, 2024 — a month ahead of schedule. The movie was initially scheduled to open on Dec. 25, but the studio felt it would be better positioned around Thanksgiving compared to Christmas.
Though the release calendar will change over the next two years, there’s currently only a Disney Animation placeholder on the docket during Thanksgiving of 2024. By comparison, Christmastime is stacked with “Avatar 3” (a sequel to the third-highest grossing movie in history), as well as “Sonic the Hedgehog 3.”
Jon M. Chu is directing “Wicked,” which has been split into two parts. For now, the second installment is set to release a year later on Dec. 25, 2025. (There aren’t any “Avatar” sequels planned for 2025… at the moment.)
“We are deep into production on ‘Wicked’ and everyday we get more and more excited to share with u the mischief we’ve been up to. So…We’ve decided to get it to you all a little earlier than planned,” Chu wrote on Twitter. “A little Thanksgiving treat!”
A prequel of sorts to “The Wizard of Oz,” “Wicked” recounts everything that happened before Dorothy sauntered down the yellow brick road and tells the story of how a green-skinned woman named Elphaba becomes the Wicked Witch of the West. Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande are starring in the film as Elphaba and Glinda, who form an unlikely friendship that is torn apart by external forces. Additional cast members include Jonathan Bailey as Fiyero, Jeff Goldblum as the Wizard, Michelle Yeoh as Madame Morrible and Ethan Slater as Boq.
The original production of “Wicked” premiered in 2003, with Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth in the lead roles, and it remains one of the longest-running shows on Broadway.
Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the music and lyrics to the Broadway show, is adapting the screenplay with Winnie Holzman. Marc Platt, a producer on the musical, is also producing the film. Along with classics like “Defying Gravity” and “Popular,” the movie version is expected to feature at least two new songs.