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Kristin Chenoweth originally played Glinda the Good Witch on Broadway
Wicked would not be the mammoth musical it is today without Broadway-turned-television star Kristin Chenoweth, who played the role of Glinda the Good Witch when it first opened. With a movie musical adaptation announced, Chenoweth is set to pass the torch – or “wand and crown” as she put it in an interview – to singer Ariana Grande, who will be bringing the role to life onscreen.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight at the Critics Choice Awards, Chenoweth was asked about her thoughts on the upcoming film. The Schmigadoon star revealed she had “known Ariana Grande since she was ten” and that they spoke everyday, adding she was “very proud” of her.
Saying she was both “mentor” and “mentee” to Grande, she shared some of the advice she had given Grande on reprising the iconic role. She revealed she said to Grande, “I told her not to think about me – to find her own Glinda. We talk about it and we talk about life a lot.”
While a release date is unclear for Wicked after coronavirus delayed production, casting news for the musical movie was announced and delighted social media fans.
Alongside Grande, Tony award-winning actor Cynthia Erivo will be playing her best friend Elphaba; the so-called Wicked Witch of the West. Erivo’s role was originally played by Frozen star Idina Menzel on Broadway and Chenoweth said she was “in complete adoration” of Erivo.
The film will be directed by Jon M. Chu, who recently helmed the recent movie adaptation of In the Heights. Both Grande and Erivo took to social media to celebrate being cast in the film, with Grande writing “thank goodness” and sharing a bouquet of flowers from Erivo which read, “The part was made for you, I look forward to sharing this musical journey with you.”
Information on the film has been kept tightly under wraps beyond Grande, Erivo and Chu’s involvement – not even news about Elphaba’s love interest Fiyero, another leading character, has been released. Of course, many have speculated who might step into the role with the internet fan-casting everyone from Harry Styles to Pitch Perfect star Ben Platt.
One person who the internet isn’t keen on being cast however is James Corden, with a petition declaring the talk show host should “in no way shape or form” be “in or near the production of Wicked the movie.” The petition has since been signed by over 108,000 people. (Ouch.)