Jeff Goldblum is in negotiations to play a pivotal role in Universal's adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Wicked, according to Deadline. While the actor's deal is not yet definite, sources confirmed to the outlet that he is eyeing the role of The Wizard. The stage musical is based on Gregory Maguire's bestselling novel Wicked, inspired by L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which MGM adapted into a 1939 film of the same title. Wicked, which debuted on Broadway in 2003 as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, chronicles the journey of green-skinned Elphaba evolving into the Wicked Witch of the West alongside Glinda's ascent to becoming the Good Witch.
More than a decade after the movie was first conceived, director Jon M. Chu (who directed Crazy Rich Asians and In the Heights) announced in November 2021 that the film would star Ariana Grande as Glinda and Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba. The story's romantic interest, Fiyero, was later revealed as Bridgerton actor and Olivier Award winner Jonathan Bailey. Chu confirmed Bailey's casting via Twitter on Sept. 21. "He's perfect, they're perfect. They'd be perfect together. Born to be forever," wrote Chu. "I am too excited to pretend this hasn't been happening. We have a Fiyero!!!! #JonathanBailey #Wicked."
In an April tweet, Chu then revealed that they split the musical into two films. He wrote, "Here's what happened: 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. As we tried to cut songs or trim characters, those decisions began to feel like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years."
He added, "So we decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and make not just one Wicked movie but TWO!!!! With more space, we can tell the story of Wicked as it was meant to be told while bringing even more depth and surprise to the journeys of these beloved characters." Chu continued, "Cynthia, Ariana and I — and all the cast and crew — pledge to create nothing less than an experience that honors its foundation for all the fans who've waited for this movie, and to offer a thrilling, fantastical world full of dynamic characters that invites those who are unfamiliar." Chu will direct both new installments, which will release on Dec. 25, 2024, and Dec. 25, 2025, based on a script by the stage show's book writer, Winne Holzman, and composer-lyricist, Stephen Schwartz.0comments