The cast of Jon M. Chu’s upcoming Wicked film adaptation continues to grow, with Variety reporting that Marissa Bode, Bowen Yang, and more are set to join the project.
Bode, who will be making her feature film debut in the upcoming film, will play Nessarose, the sister of Cynthia Erivo’s Elphaba. Saturday Night Live star Bowen Yang and Bronwyn James (Lockwood & Co.) will play the duo of Pfannee and ShenShen, classmates of Elphaba and Glinda at Shiz University, respectively. Elsewhere in the cast, Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman) will play Miss Coddle, Aaron Teoh will play Avaric, and Colin Michael Carmichael will play Professor Nikidik.
The six new cast members will join a cast that’s already incredibly robust, with the film set to be headlined by Ariana Grande as Glinda the Good Witch, Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba — who later becomes the Wicked Witch of the West — and Jeff Goldblum, who will play the Wizard.
Also set to join the film are Jonathan Bailey (Bridgerton), who will play Fiyero and Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once), who will play Madame Morrible. The Wicked films are currently planned to release on Christmas in 2024 and 2025, with director Jon M. Chu confirming there would be two films instead of one earlier this year.
The upcoming movie adaptation is based on the critically acclaimed Broadway musical, which itself is based on the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, which in turn is based on the classic 1900 L. Frank Baum novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Wicked tells the story of two friends, Elphaba and Glinda, who struggle to maintain their friendship as they grow apart. The story serves as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, but the plot does contain events from after Dorothy’s arrival in Oz as well.
The film adaptation will be produced by Marc Platt through his Universal-based Marc Platt Productions. Senior Executive Vice President of Production Erik Baiers and Vice President of Production Development Lexi Barta will oversee the project on behalf of Universal Pictures.
The stage musical Wicked has won three Tony awards and is adapted from Gregory Maguire’s bestselling novel by book writer Winnie Holzman and three-time Oscar-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz. Holzman and Schwartz are currently collaborating on the screenplay adaptation.