Based on the 1939 classic film The Wizard of Oz, Broadway's 2003 premiere of Wicked—a revisionist tale exploring the origin stories of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda, the Good Witch of the South—took the world by storm. The musical has claimed an enviable spot as the second highest grossing Broadway show of all time. Now, the beloved and wildly popular musical is finally getting the cinematic makeover it deserves. Universal Pictures recently announced its official release date for the Wicked movie adaptation as Dec. 22, 2021, and let’s just say fans are (understandably) excited.
No official casting announcements for the movie have been made, but predictions and dream casts have already flooded the Internet. Although no one can replace the legendary performances of Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth in the original Broadway production, here are the picks for starring roles that could carry the torch (or should I say broom), as the new members of the ever–growing Wicked family.
The infamous role of Elphaba requires a young but experienced singer with a deep vocal range and a powerful stage presence to match—all qualities that Janelle Monáe has and flaunts. The popular singer has released three successful studio albums, with her latest one, Dirty Computer, receiving a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. She made her film debut in Moonlight, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and starred in Hidden Figures as NASA mathematician and engineer Mary Jackson. Besides these roles, Monáe hasn't had too much experience in the acting world, but her stunning vocals and acting debuts make Elphaba the perfect breakout role for her.
Cameron has solidified her place as a Disney sensation, starring in Disney Channel's hit show Liv and Maddie and original movie Descendants. She's also proved her vocal talents by starring as Cher Horowitz in an Off–Broadway production of Clueless: The Musical, and as Sophie Sheridan in a 2017 Hollywood Bowl performance of Mamma Mia! Her performance as Amber Von Tussle in the 2016 TV special Hairspray Live! showcased her ability to play the archetypal "mean, popular girl" needed for Glinda's character. Her high vocal range, combined with the types of roles she's constantly cast in, makes her a great candidate for the role of Glinda, and Kristin Chenoweth agrees!
Besides being the most beautiful man I've ever seen, Aaron Tveit is also an incredibly qualified candidate for the role of Fiyero. He's starred in multiple Broadway performances, including Next to Normal and Catch Me If You Can. He played Danny Zuko in the 2016 TV special Grease Live! and had a role in the 2012 film adaptation of Les Misérables. He's shown us that he can sing, act, successfully take part in a Broadway–turned–movie production, and take the lead as both Glinda and Elphaba's love interest. If his impressive background doesn't have you convinced, Tveit already has experience playing Fiyero, as he briefly took on the role in 2008–09 on Broadway.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz–Hugh Jackman
From starring in box–office hits like Logan and The Prestige to musical adaptations like Les Misérables and The Greatest Showman—Hugh Jackman has the range to pull off a role as complex as the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The Wizard is a sleazy conman, who tricks the people of Oz into thinking otherwise by hiding behind his charming personality and handsome appearance. Besides having the charm and appearance necessary for this role, the Tony–award winning actor and singer also has the experience and ability to skillfully blend music and theater together to create an unforgettable portrayal of the iconic Wizard of Oz.
In an ideal world, my dream cast would become a reality, but honestly—the promise of a Wicked movie is good enough for me!