The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

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The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

Defying Gravity again

Exploring the “Wicked” movie journey
Defying Gravity again

Tighten your witches hat and hang on to your broom! “Wicked,” the Tony award-winning musical phenomenon that has captured the hearts of Broadway audiences is set to cast its spell on the silver screen. 

The highly anticipated film adaptation has been in the works for nearly a decade since Universal Studios first announced the project back in 2016. Old and new fans alike have been eagerly awaiting “Wicked’s” arrival, and ever since the film’s first official trailer aired in Feb. 2024, their excitement has heightened.
Here is everything that you need to know about this wickedly enchanting movie: 

“Wicked” tells the story of fervent friendship (and rivalry) between two young witches, Elphaba, who’s skin is unnaturally green, and Glinda, a preppy blonde. In the beginning, they dislike each other, but later come to form an unlikely bond. The musical follows the girls and reveals how Elphaba became the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda became the Good Witch.  

The upcoming film is based off of the critically acclaimed 2003 Broadway musical “Wicked,” and the musical is loosely based off of the 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.”

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Jon M. Chu, the director of  “In the Heights” (2021), is at the helm of the project. After searching for his perfect Elphaba and Glinda, Chu found them in Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande.

  The two women earned seals of approval from both Idina Menzel, who originated Elphaba on Broadway, and Kristin Chenoweth, who originated Glinda on Broadway. 

“I’m not sure if I’ve ever been this proud. From the very first day I met you (swipe to see!!), you were destined for this role. Congratulations @arianagrande! The best Glinda you will be with @cynthiaerivo by your side. I love you!!” Chenoweth wrote on her Instagram. 

“Congrats to two amazing women. May it change your lives for the better forever and ever as it has for us. So much love,” Menzel congratulated on her X account. 

Later, it was revealed that “Bridgerton” star Jonathan Bailey and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” actress Michelle Yeoh, were also cast in the film. Bailey will take on the role of Fiyero, the main love interest, and Yeoh will bring to life Madame Morrible, headmistress of Crage Hall at Shiz University in this alternate tale. 

Also joining the cast are Ethan Slater as Boq, Marissa Bode as Nessarose, Bowen Yang as Pfannee, Bronwyn James as ShenShen, Keala Settle as Miss Coddle, Aaron Teoh as Avaric and Colin Michael Carmichael as Professor Nikidik.

Before filming even began in December 2022, Cynthia Erivo explained at the 2022 SAG awards why fans should not expect a 100% faithful adaptation of the musical. 

“I think it’s going to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. I think we’re going to enjoy the magic of it. We’re going to try and put our own spin on what we know already and show you a story about two women [who] are sisters,” Entertainment quoted Erivo. 

Stephen Schwartz, who composed the musical’s original music, and is returning for the movie’s soundtrack also teased fans with the possibility of there being a few new songs added to the score. 

The “Wicked” film is also being released in two parts. In early 2022, Chu announced this separation, also releasing new release dates. 

“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,” Chu wrote in a statement on X. 

 “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. So we decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and make not just one Wicked movie but TWO!!!”

While the film was originally slated to be released in Dec. 2021, COVID-19 caused production delays. The SAG strikes also briefly paused production briefly. 

TNow, the first part of “Wicked” will be released on Nov. 27, 2024, while part two will come out one year later, on Nov. 26, 2025. While many fans are disappointed by the wait, they are consoled by the fact that Chu, the cast, and the production team have promised to create a masterpiece that does the original musical justice. 

However, the film has recently come under backlash after the first official trailer made its debut during the Super Bowl LVIII commercials. While many fans were excited, some even brought to tears by the trailer’s debut, others were quick to judge. 

“Bad lighting and colouring; generic special effects. According to the haters, this snippet of Jon M Chu’s take on the subversive Broadway hit looks like a shonky Harry Potter spin-off. Or a Saturday Night Live skit. The Wicked trailer is so visually flat that even its charismatic stars, Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande, resemble undercooked pancakes,” BBC stated. “The trailer seems almost embarrassed that the film we’ll get to see in November is a musical.”

Fans elated by the trailer were quick to point out that there are many elements, such as the characters, settings, and songs, that stay true to the musical. This trailer was also only one minute of an eight year project and was released nine months before the movie is set to hit theaters, which gives the film’s post-production team plenty of time to improve visuals.

No matter the division of opinions regarding the trailer, it has undoubtedly stirred up further anticipation for part one of “Wicked” this November. As the anticipation builds, new and old fans alike are ready to be transported once again to the magical land where witches defy expectations and friendships defy gravity.

For more information about “Wicked,” please visit,,,, and

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Lainey Vollmer
Lainey Vollmer, Staff Writer

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