To quote the opening line of Broadway blockbuster Wicked: "Good news!" Ariana Grande is still in the running to play Elphaba in the upcoming Wicked film, according to Stephen Schwartz. The pop star has been vocal about her love for the untold story of the witches of Oz, performing a jaw-dropping rendition of "The Wizard and I" at last fall's 15th anniversary television event.
And with the film confirmed, many of us are wondering if Grande's casting is an inevitability.
Broadway legend Stephen Schwartz, who wrote Wicked's music and lyrics, told Gay Times that he's "a massive Ariana Grande fan." He asked, Who isn't?!" When asked if he'd be happy to have her in the film, Schwartz said, "The short answer is, of course." But Schwartz added that the film "is not quite far enough along yet for us to really be talking about specific casting."
Earlier this year, Universal and Comcast announced that the Wicked movie will be released December 22, 2021. It was originally slated for 2019 but pushed back after CATS took the coveted Christmas release slot).
Schwartz clarified that "obviously everyone is very aware of the presence in the world of Ariana Grande and her extraordinary talent." He said, "We'd be fools for her not to be being seriously considered."
But ultimately, the decision doesn't rest with Schwartz. "Stephen Daldry is our director and he will have a lot to say about the casting, as will Universal and the studio. But, as I say, let's just say that all of us are very aware of Ariana Grande." Understatement of the century?