The announcement also resurfaced a decade-old tweet from Ariana that’s aged very well, indeed!
It’s closing in on two decades since “Wicked” hit the Broadway stage and it might finally be coming to film after 16 years in development hell. Joining Universal’s musical adaptation in the lead roles are Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo.
There’s no doubt that both have the musical pedigree to take on the role, with Grande largely considered one of the greatest voices of her generation, and Erivo scoring an Emmy nomination for portraying the Queen of Soul in “Genius: Aretha.”
Erivo also nabbed a Tony and Grammy award for her work in “The Color Purple” and two Oscar noms for “Harriet,” while Grande has been singing and acting for almost as long as she’s been alive, including on Broadway as a young teen.
Ariana has also clearly been a fan of “Wicked” for a long time, and may well have manifested today’s big news — ten years ago. In the wake of the news, a 2011 tweet from “The Voice” coach began to recirculate where she wrote she really wanted to play Glinda “at some point in my life!”
Loved seeing Wicked again… amazing production! Made me realize again how badly I want 2 play Glinda at some point in my life! #DreamRole
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) December 2, 2011
Some tweets age really well!
But Grande and Erivo’s ages are one point of concern for fans — especially in the wake of the “Rent” film casting its OG stars for the film adaptation and the more recent controversy of having the now 28-year-old Ben Platt reprise his role for “Dear Evan Hansen.”
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Ariana Grande is currently 28 years old as well, while Cynthia Erivo is 34. Both look great for their age, and youthful to boot, but are they youthful enough to convincingly pull off the teenage versions of Galinda the future Glinda the Good Witch (Grande) and Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West?
That’s the question and concern for many online, who were otherwise thrilled that the long-gestating project is finally coming to fruition. Sure, the mid-aughts was the time when “Wicked” fever was taking over the nation, but it has shown impressive staying power, and fans still remember Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel for those roles.
Menzel shared her congratulations to the newest ladies to enter Oz, tweeting, “Congrats to two amazing women. May it change your lives for the better forever and ever as it has for us. So much love.”
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It’s also worth nothing that both Chenoweth and Menzel were in their 30s when portraying teens on Broadway, but the stage is a far more forgiving place for actors and actresses to play younger. And while it’s been common on screen as well over the years, there’s been more of an effort for authenticity in recent years.
As for Grande and Erivo, there was nothing but tears of joy from both camps as they shared the moments they found out they’d been cast in the iconic roles, as well as the flowers they sent each other, and director John M. Chu shared his excitement on Twitter.
The film is expected to enter production over the summer in the UK, per The Hollywood Reporter — so, time for the cast to get even older! You can check out some of the concerns from Twitter below, as well as the enthusiasm:
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Goooood Newwwws!!! The incredible #CynthiaErivo and @ArianaGrande will be our Elphaba and Galinda in @WickedMovie @UniversalPics Get ready for a match up like you’ve never seen!!! In pink and green!!! pic.twitter.com/t1eH82mCe7
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) November 5, 2021
“so it’s okay when wicked casts grown women as teens?” pic.twitter.com/kY0Kbf793u
— alex (@alex_abads) November 5, 2021
I’m supposed to believe that Cynthia Erviro and Ariana Grande are the same age in the Wicked film??? pic.twitter.com/8lh7NxExFF
— hi (@lovebestrong) November 5, 2021
Given that Wicked and Dear Evan Hansen were both produced by Marc Platt, the issues around casting age appropriate actors is actually one of the most consistent thing he's done.
— Thomas M. Willett (@Optigrab) November 5, 2021
I'm sorry but what is that Wicked casting? Not that they are bad actresses/singers, it just makes no sense to me for Glinda and Elphaba. First of all they are college students for most of the story couldn't we have had actresses closer to that age? I just what?? pic.twitter.com/ahoCVPtwpu
— lovealwayswins (@ChooseLove86) November 5, 2021
Sorry for being so emotionally connected to wicked but as much as i fucking adore cynthia and black elphaba, shes too old to play opposite ariana 😭 they should've gone younger for both roles and they should've fucking used bway actors 😭 i am holding a sword at The Industry
— squid, from the internet (@squidias) November 5, 2021
ARIANA AND CYNTHIA ERIVO ARE GONNA BE IN THE WICKED MOVIE OMGSJSSJAKA pic.twitter.com/hNWMrBgULS
— 𝐣𝐨𝐞𝐲 𝐤𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐢 🌨 (@laurmanisnasty) November 5, 2021
CYNTHIA ERIVO AND ARIANA GRANDE IN WICKED?!?! pic.twitter.com/KTm8DwR9nl
— Jessica Leal (@jlealsays) November 5, 2021
ARIANA GRANDE N CYNTHIA ERIVO IN WICKED??????? NAH ITS OVER FOR THE GIRLS IFBJFNDKENDB pic.twitter.com/npXcIMKLn2
— CYNTHIA "AMALA" ZOLANSKI (@cynthiazolanski) November 5, 2021
— Keenan³⁰ 🍂 (@keenanxmurray) November 5, 2021
ARIANA GRANDE PLAYING GLINDA IN THE WICKED MOVIE ??? AND CYNTHIA ERIVO AS ELPHABA… a serve is coming pic.twitter.com/1DtDpzVnKI
— ☁️ (@chrischxn) November 5, 2021