The Wicked Trailer Lets Cynthia Erivo And Ariana Grande Work Their Magic

I hope you're happy, "Wicked" fans. The "Wizard of Oz" musical, itself based on the fanciful, world building-dense Gregory Maguire novel that re-imagines the characters and stories from L. Frank Baum's "Oz" books, has been slow to make the leap from stage to screen. On the way, it also went from a single film to two, which is a bit disconcerting for a work that clocks in at a tightly-paced two and a half hours in its original form. The movie features new songs and script material by returning "Wicked" lyricist Stephen Schwartz and writer Winnie Holzman, but will that be enough to justify the split? Or should we be concerned that something bad is happening in Oz?

(Also yes, for those who are wondering, I will be making "Wicked" puns for the rest of this article because I'm nothing if not committed to the bit.)

Both "Wicked" films hail from celebrated "Crazy Rich Asians" and "In the Heights" director Jon M. Chu, so there's little reason to doubt they'll deliver in the musical performance and spectacle departments. The filmmaker himself looked to Steven Spielberg's "Hook" for inspiration when it came to the movies' practical sets, which is great news for those hoping to see settings like Shiz University and the Emerald City brought to extravagant life. What is this feeling? It's not loathing. In fact, it may even be optimism. Plus, if you look at things from Universal's perspective, all these films really have to do is clear the bar set by the studio's previous Broadway mega-hits turned movie musicals, "Cats" and "Dear Evan Hansen." Now that's a double-feature I'd dare any theater kid to try. (For your own safety, please do not do this.)

With that said, feast your eyes on the newly-unveiled "Wicked" trailer seen above.

The popular Wizard of Oz musical heads to the screen

Before Gen-Zers had "Wednesday," Millennials had their own story about a Black Cat/Golden Retriever relationship between two young women and their misadventures at a fantastical school. The first half of "Wicked" will see the green-skinned, social-awkward outsider Elphaba Thropp (Cynthia Erivo) and blond-haired queen bee Galinda Upland (Ariana Grande) butting heads only to evolve into the best of friends. Of course, these two are destined to eventually become rivals in the eye of their fellow Ozians as the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good. But before that, there's a whole lot of high school-style drama, a sinister conspiracy concerning the animal citizens of Oz, and, you guessed it, singing and dancing to get through.

Based on what we've seen so far, the "Wicked" movies are on the precipice of birthing a whole new generation of "Gelphie" shippers thanks to Erivo and Grande's interactions as their Ozian counterparts. Elsewhere, Jeff Goldblum will lend his slippery charms to the Wonderful (?) Wizard of Oz, with Michelle Yeoh bringing some fire as Shiz University head honcho Madame Morrible and "Bridgerton" alum Jonathan Bailey lending some smolder to Elphaba and Galinda's dashing classmate Fiyero Tigelaar. Most importantly, we now know Peter Dinklage is loaning his voice to Doctor Dillamond, a Goat professor who teaches history at Shiz and plays a key part in the plot of the first film. Seriously, y'all don't realize how terrified I was that James Corden would wind up playing this role.

We'll see if "Wicked" can keep the string of successful musicals whose early marketing hid that they were musicals going when Part 1 arrives on November 27, 2024, with Part 2 following on November 26, 2025.