Cynthia Erivo will be defying gravity as she is cast in the live action adaptation of Wicked. The film has been in development hell since the popular Broadway show came out in 2004. Initially all reports indicated that the original cast would be reprising their roles. But now over fifteen years later, Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth have aged out. Erivo has earned the coveted spot as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West in the live action Wicked.
Ariana Grande is also set to star. She will be taking Chenoweth’s place of Good Witch Glinda who premiered the role. This is an interesting dichotomy for Wicked as Cynthia Erivo is a stage performer in her own right. She has acted on the East End and won several awards for the stage and screen. Grande is less decorated than the Broadway star. However, she has proven to be popular as her records have gone platinum and may be what the live action Wicked needs. She certainly has the pipes, though not as iconic as Chenoweth’s range. Grande has acted before in Ryan Murphy’s horror-comedy Scream Queens.
There is no further information on any of the remaining cast for the musical. Idina Menzel has congratulated the two on winning the roles in the live action Wicked. Idina Menzel not only heralded the role of Elphaba but has starred in many other iconic roles. She also was the original Maureen when Rent premiered on Broadway in 1996. She reprised the same role in the film version ten years later.
Though unfortunate fans will not be able to see Menzel and Chenoweth in their iconic roles, hopefully there will be something for them to do. The show is based on the Gregory Maguire novel. He has many books centering around the retelling of fairy tales. The book differs slightly for the stage show which was significantly toned down. The live action Wicked musical will be directed by John Chu. It will also go into production this summer.