‘Wicked’ Is Hitting Theaters a Week Earlier Than Planned

We’ll be heading to Oz sooner than we thought!

Universal Pictures announced on Monday (July 1) that the first part of director Jon M. Chu‘s Wicked film adaptation will hit theaters Nov. 22, five days earlier than its original Nov. 27 release date. It will now arrive on the same date as Gladiator II.

Based on the Broadway musical of the same name by Stephen Schwartz, Wicked follows two magical enemies-turned-best friends played by Ariana Grande, who will portray Glinda, and Cynthia Erivo, who will play Elphaba. The project will be split into two separate films. Michelle Yeoh, Jonathan Bailey, Ethan Slater, Jeff Goldblum and Bowen Yang are also in the cast, while Marc Platt and David Stone serve as producers.

In May, Universal Pictures released the film’s official trailer, and the three-and-a-half-minute preview opens with Grande’s voice asking, “Are people born wicked? Or do they have wickedness thrust upon them?”

Behind-the-scenes footage from the films’ 2023 shoot in the U.K. was also dropped, plus clips of Erivo and Grande reacting to the news that they had been cast as the project’s stars. “Oh my God, thank you!” the “We Can’t Be Friends” musician says through tears in the video. “I love [Glinda] so much, I’m gonna take such good care of her!”

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