The overlap between people who watch the Super Bowl for the commercials and theater nerds is pretty broad, so imagine their absolute delight when the first teaser trailer for Wicked: Part I, the movie adaptation of the beloved 2003 stage play, premiered on Sunday night. Fans were treated to glimpses of the Merry Old Land of Oz, the Wizard (Jeff Golblum), Madame Morrible (Michelle Yeoh), flying monkies and, of course, Glinda (Ariana Grande) and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West herself (Cynthia Erivo).
Based on the 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire — Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West — the play premiered on Broadway on Oct. 30, 2003 with Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth in the lead roles. It follows the meeting, unlikely friendship, falling out, and ultimate reconciliation between Elphaba (whose name is a nod to Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum), the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, whose stories are far more complicated than their brief interactions in the 1938 movie would have us believe. The movie also features Jonathan Bailey as Fiyero, Marissa Bode as Elphaba’s sister Nessarose, Bowen Yang as Glinda’s friend Pfannee, and Ethan Slater as Munchkinlander Boq.
Social media was delighted by the minute-long sneak peek. The cast of the off-Broadway production of Titaníque: The Musical, which features Ariana Grande’s brother, Frankie Grande, posted their reaction to the trailer dubbing it #WickedBowl.
“The amount of times I’ve watched the wicked trailer in the last few hours,” gushes @Astrhoe44. “Lock me away.”
Director John M. Chu, who is no stranger to adapting Broadway to the Big Screen (he also directed In The Heights), is excited to share all the action and music of this show with a new audience, but Wicked, to him, is more than just power ballads and pretty costumes. “This is the American fairy tale,” he recently told Vanity Fair. “We are in a time where we are reassessing the story of life in America. What is truth? What is a happy ending? Is the yellow brick road the road to follow? Is someone really there on the other end who’s going to give you your heart’s desire?”
And about that Part 1 subtitle... This film will, indeed, be a story told in two parts over the course of two years. The second installment is already scheduled for a Nov. 26, 2025 release, a day short of one year after Part 1 is due to come out.
We really can’t wait.