The first Wicked movie footage has been screened for CinemaCon attendees and reveals fresh details about the long-awaited musical adaptation. Based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, Wicked stars Cynthia Erivo as the future Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, years before she becomes the Wizard of Oz villain everyone knows and fears. Ariana Grande plays her best friend and future enemy Galinda, who goes on to become Glinda the Good Witch.
To cap off its CinemaCon presentation, Universal has debuted the very first footage from Wicked, and Screen Rant was on hand to watch it all unfold.
The footage, which is an extremely rough cut that very few have seen, reveals Erivo’s Elphaba as she is being taught by her new professor, Madame Morrible (Michelle Yeoh). It also features glimpses of Elphaba’s show-stopping song “Defying Gravity,” and the moment where Glinda gives Elphaba her iconic hat. The rest of the footage included a BTS reel offering a peek at the ongoing production.
Universal Is Betting Big On Wicked
Wicked‘s inclusion in Universal’s CinemaCon presentation speaks to its importance within the studio’s upcoming slate. The musical adaptation has been in the works for some time and only recently got off the ground after locking in its cast and director, In the Heights‘ Jon M. Chu. As it is based on one of the most successful musicals of all time, there has been much interest in seeing how Wicked develops as a movie, and Universal is already building upon that intrigue. Filming only recently got underway, yet Chu has already revealed the first peeks at Erivo and Grande in costume as Elphaba and Glinda.
CinemaCon will often spotlight upcoming movies that are a ways off, but Wicked is the furthest out on Universal’s slate. The film, which will actually be split into two parts, isn’t set for release until November 2024; Wicked: Part 2 will arrive a year later. The CinemaCon footage was so new, certain executives haven’t even seen it yet. That Universal was so eager to show it off demonstrates the studio’s faith in Wicked and the buzz it has already accumulated.
While select theater owners and members of the press have now seen a peek at Wicked, the general public will unfortunately have to wait much longer. An official trailer likely won’t arrive until the end of 2023 at the earliest, when the movie itself is but a year away. At the same time, since Universal is so eager to promote Wicked, perhaps more official looks will emerge sooner than expected.