After years of preparation, hype and a bit of anxiety, the Broadway smash hit Wicked is officially being adapted into a movie. Universal Pictures made the announcement early on June 16.
The musical phenomenon WICKED comes to the big screen. In theaters 12.20.19. pic.twitter.com/rFojgh56oH
— Universal Pictures (@UniversalPics) June 16, 2016
Within minutes, Twitter exploded with excitement. The project has been teased for several years, but nothing official had been announced. In 2012, the musical’s lyricist Stephen Schwartz said a movie adaptation was “gearing up,” and producer Marc Platt (Into the Woods) said they were aiming for a 2016 release date, but he stressed that a musical production takes a long time.
Now comes the most important part: casting. The original Broadway cast, starring Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel as Galinda and Elphaba respectively, have become iconic. While filling their shoes will be difficult, someone’s got to do it. So, we’ve put together a list of who we’d like to see in Oz for the movie adaptation.
Galinda (later, Glinda)
1. Dove Cameron
Fans immediately have started clamoring for Disney Channel’s Dove Cameron to take on the role of the good witch. And we have to agree. Not only does Dove look the part, but vocally she’s got Glinda on lock. In 2015, Cameron starred in Disney Channel’s hit movie “Descendants” as the daughter of Maleficent, played by Kristin Chenoweth. The two clearly had chemistry, and pairing their voices was nothing short of angelic.
More than that, the Disney star already has the original Glinda’s approval.
@SailorSoul7 dove Cameron. !
— Kristin Chenoweth (@KChenoweth) January 5, 2015
2. Laura Osnes
Laura Osnes would also make a compelling Glinda. Her light voice and delicate features give her the daintiness of Glinda, but her strong presence would allow her to hold her own as the lead. Laura has previously starred in the Broadway revival of Grease as Sandy, a character that is similar to Glinda in many ways. A strong case could even be made for Osnes as Elphaba.
1. Lea Michele
It’s impossible to discuss bringing Wicked to the silver screen without thinking of Lea Michele as Elphaba. Much like Dove Cameron, Lea Michele played the daughter of her predecessor Idina Menzel in Glee. There’s no denying her powerful vocals, especially on Elphaba’s anthem. Would she be able to convey a bit of wickedness? We think so. Keep in mind that Elphie doesn’t start as a villain.
2. Adrienne Warren
Currently on Broadway in Shuffle Along, Adrienne Warren is fantastic. With the role of Elphaba, the most important thing is vocals. Warren’s got that on lock. Don’t believe us? Watch her cover Celine Dion, one of the greatest vocalists out there. Warren would definitely do justice to Elphaba’s shy but dominant presence.
1. Leslie Odom Jr.
Fresh off a Tony win for Best Leading Actor in a Musical as Aaron Burr in Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. is making his mark on Broadway. He could easily bring Fiyero’s careless charm and love of life to the screen. An even bigger testament to his potential, Odom Jr. knows how to play a character that unintentionally becomes the antagonist. We’d love to see him Dancing Through Life on the big screen.
2. Zachary Levi
Currently starring on Broadway in “She Loves Me,” Zachary Levi would capture Fiyero’s strength and charm. After all, Levi knows a thing or two about making young ladies swoon (Flynn Rider anyone?). Though his vocals are a bit deeper than say, Aaron Tveit’s (who’d also make a valiant Fiyero), he would still do the role justice.
1. Luke Youngblood
Most recently seen on Galavant, Luke Youngblood would make a near perfect Boq. His youthful demeanor would lend itself well to his chemistry with Glinda. It’s easy to see him pining after the good witch, eager to do anything to please her. When he eventually becomes the heartless Tin Man, Youngblood would certainly be able to give off the lingering innocence, muddled by anger and fear.
2. Darren Criss
Most recently, Darren Criss brought The Little Mermaid‘s Prince Eric to life at the Hollywood Bowl. As seen on Glee, Criss can easily portray a sense of innocence. But, Criss would add a bit of ruggedness to Boq that is necessary. Criss would take away Boq’s fragility, making it more believable when he eventually unleashes his anger against the Wicked Witch.
1. Melissa Benoist
In Wicked, Nessarose starts as the wide-eyed, loving sister of Elphaba, but later becomes hardened and angry. The character experiences a full spectrum of emotions through the story. In this role, Melissa Benoist would thrive. There’s no question that Benoist can sing. And, as proved in Supergirl, her acting chops are pretty great. In Supergirl’s episode “Falling” we got to see Benoist unleash her dark side a bit, and it was one of the best episodes of the season.
2. Grace Phipps
Known for her roles on The Vampire Diaries, The Nine Lives of Chloe King and Disney Channel’s Teen Beach movies, Grace Phipps would also make a fabulous Nessa. She can easily nail the doe-eyed, fresh face character, as proven in Teen Beach Movie. More than that, seeing her become the Wicked Witch of the East would allow her to really explore her vocal range and unleash her sinister side.