You will now have to wait longer than the space between a showboating Elphaba belting “The Wizard” and “I” to get the complete story of the witches of Oz. On April 26, director Jon M. Chu tweeted that the highly anticipated film adaptation of Wicked that will definitely not get stuck in development hell once again is actually going to be two separate highly anticipated film adaptations that will definitely not get stuck in development hell once again. “As we prepared this production over the last year, it became increasingly clear that it would be impossible to wrestle the story of WICKED into a single film without doing some real damage to it,” he wrote. “So we decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and make not just one WICKED movie but TWO!!!!”
The two movies will still star Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and Ariana Grande as Galinda (and then, I guess, as Glinda in part two — animal solidarity!) and will arrive in theaters “on successive Christmas holidays beginning December 2024,” just in time to compete with those sequels to the Avatar sequels! For those unfamiliar with the plot of the stage production, the first act is generally about having an annoying roommate in college; the second is about guerrilla warfare. If they keep to the act breaks of the show, we’ll get right up to the end of Erivo’s “Defying Gravity” in Wicked Movie Part 1 and then have to wait a whole year to hear Grande cross those bridges you cross you didn’t know you’ve crossed until you’ve made a sequel.