Wicked: Jeff Goldblum in final talks to step behind the curtain as the Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Last Updated on November 1, 2022

Wicked, Jeff Goldblum, Wizard of Oz

After transforming into David Cronenberg’s Brundlefly, running from dinosaurs, and flirting with the “Lord of Thunder” in Thor: Ragnarok, Jeff Goldblum is riding a hot air balloon to the Land of Oz! Variety reports the meme-worthy is in final negotiations to play the Wonderful Wizard of Oz in Jon M. Chu’s theatrical adaptation of the musical Wicked.

The cast of Wicked includes Ariana Grande as Glinda, Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba, and Bridgerton’s Jonathan Bailey as Fiyero. The presentation is a two-part theatrical event, with films debuting in theaters on Christmas 2024 and 2025.

“As we prepared the production over the past 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. As we tried to cut songs of trim characters, those decisions felt like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years,” Chu wrote in a lengthy Twitter post.

Surprised to hear Chu split the story into two films, Erivo is excited about the possibilities and embraces the challenge directly. “I was like, ‘Well alright then, I guess we’ve got our work set ahead of us.’ It’s full on,” she said. “And kind of exciting, because it means that we have more of the story to tell — more room, more real estate to tell these two stories.”

Universal has been working on a Wicked film adaptation since 2004. Initially, Stephen Daldry was attached to direct but left the project due to scheduling conflicts. The movie’s original release was December 22, 2021, but that didn’t happen. In addition to Covid casting a spell on production, Chu and company have been retooling plans for the film’s release.

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 one that could have you rooting for the villain by the time it’s all over.

What do you think about Goldblum getting behind the curtain to play the Wonderful Wizard of Oz? It’s genius, isn’t it? Goldblum’s got music in his bones, and I can see him rocking a wicked robe and scepter for this fascinating role. Let’s click our heels together and head to Oz!

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.