Wicked clicks its heels three times at CinemaCon with fabulous new footage from the Jon M. Chu-directed musical

Universal enchants CinemaCon audience members with an extended look at Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of the Broadway musical.

There’s no place like CinemaCon for Universal to debut enchanting new footage for Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of Wicked! On Wednesday, the studio dropped a house on the CinemaCon crowd at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, helping Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, to tell her side of a misunderstood story.

During Universal’s CinemaCon presentation, the studio surprised the crowd by activating lanyards and roses given out before the presentation. Like magic, the objects lit up, flashing different colors as the theater filled with music. When the Great and Powerful Oz showed up, the lights interacted with his entrance. Jeff Goldblum is Oz, and he took the stage to introduce the film. “I’ll be a ringtail flying monkey if that’s not the biggest flying cranium I’ve seen in my life,” Goldblum quipped about his character.

“I’ve been chased by dinosaurs, I flew into a giant alien mothership threatening Earth, and I’ve become a fly,” Goldblum added. The Jurassic Park actor says he loved doing the movie, especially because they shot on real sets, and he got to sing and dance a bit.

When Jon M. Chu, Jonathan Bailey, and Michelle Yeoh took the stage, Yeah said, “In Crazy Rich Asians and in Wicked, why do you always cast me in roles that are mean?” Yeoh then said she was terrified to sing in the movie, to which Chu replied, “There’s nothing you can’t do. You played a literal rock,” referring to one of Yeoh’s many forms in the Oscar Award-winning film Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande also wore green (Erivo) and pink (Grande) to represent their characters when taking the stage.

Grande said she saw Wicked on Broadway when she was ten years old, which, she joked, was only five years ago. Erivo said she also saw it on Broadway, and both say the roles have been pivotal for them as making these two movies was a years-long proposition.

Universal screened new footage for the crowd, depicting Glinda and Elphaba becoming friends at a magic academy. Elphaba is summoned to see the wizard, but eventually, the latter becomes a public enemy because she realizes the wizard is just a scam artist. Oddly, the trailer didn’t include any of the songs.

Universal has been working on a Wicked film adaptation since 2004. Stephen Daldry was initially attached to direct but left the project due to scheduling conflicts. The movie’s original release was December 22, 2021, but fate threw a bucket of water on that plan. In addition to Covid casting a production hex, Chu went back and forth about dividing the story into two captivating presentations. Wicked: Part One will cast a spell in cinemas on November 27, 2024.

The three-time Tony Award-winning stage musical was adapted from Gregory Maguire’s bestselling novel by writer Winnie Holzman and composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz, who collaborated on the screenplay adaptation. The story explains how a green-skinned woman framed by the Wizard of Oz becomes the Wicked Witch of the West. Maguire’s yarn is the ultimate fairy tale origin story and could have you rooting for the villain by the time it’s all over.

While Chu intends to honor the source material, he plans to bring more depth to the characters during the two-film production. Cynthia Erivo will star as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, with Ariana Grande playing Glinda, the Good Witch. Michelle Yeoh plays Madame Morrible, the headmistress of Crage Hall at Shiz University, an institution of higher education in Shiz located in Gillikin, the northern province of Oz. Jeff Goldblum plays The Wizard of Oz, with Jonathan Bailey playing Fiyero, Adam James as Glinda’s Father, Keala Settle as Miss Coddle, Bowen Yang as Pfannee, Bronwyn James as ShenShen, Ethan Slater as Boq, and Colin Michael Carmichael as Nikidik.

Are you looking forward to WIcked? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: JoBlo

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.