The long-delayed Wicked movie is, apparently, back on again. There were rumors and announcements and delays, but, as The Hollywood Reporter reported on Friday, Universal has given a big-screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical a release date: December 22, 2021. You can easily remember this date because it's a palindrome: 12-22-21. The film is to be helmed by Stephen Daldry, director of dramas like The Reader and The Hours, as well as Billy Elliot, which, hey, just happened to go on to become a successful musical onstage!
Nothing else about the film has been officially announced, but that won't stop us from dream-casting the hell out of it. And because there are so many directions this movie could go in, we are providing multiple options for each role (sorry, but as the main characters are supposed to meet as schoolgirls, most of the original cast from 2003 is disqualified). Take note, casting directors and agents.
Elphaba Thropp, The Wicked Witch of the West and the Baddest B in Gallifrey
Vocally demanding, the heart and soul of the show, and she has to be a good enough actress to not look ridiculous with her skin tinted green. Samantha Barks has proven that they can belt with the best of them (as can Ariana Grande, but honey, your diction), Zendaya's got the spunk to piss off all of Oz, and Hailee Steinfeld's just moody enough to seem like a real outcast. Then again, this is a role that might be best taken by someone from the musical theater world—maybe Dear Evan Hansen's Lauren Dreyfuss or Mean Girls' Erika Henningsen. If only it were 10 years ago and Nikki M James could take this part and fly away with it. (She'd never do it, but what the hell: adding Lady Gaga to the list.)
Galinda Upland, Good Witch of the South
If you are very very quiet, you can actually hear Anna Kendrick practicing her "It's really uh, sharp! Don't you think?". Disney breakout Dove Cameron, currently starring in the Clueless musical off-Broadway, has a real shot at this part, and she's a natural fit. But if for some reason she's unavailable, someone find out if Elle Fanning or Kiernan Shipka can sing!
If this movie were coming out five years ago, Aaron Tveit. If it were coming out right now, Zac Efron. But since it's still two years away, and Ansel Elgort is busy with West Side Story, we're leaning toward either Anthony Ramos or Shawn Mendes. But it's also crucial that someone immediately test the singing abilities of Nick Robinson and Timothée Chalamet.
It's still Joel Grey, okay? Sure, he will be nearly 90 when the movie hits theaters. That doesn't matter. He's Joel Grey. (Backups: Ron Cephas-Jones, Mark Rylance, Ian McKellen, Taye Diggs.)
Natalie Walker. Look, she's way too young, but just get some of that Benjamin Button makeup and let her do it okay?
(Cate Blanchett and Queen Latifah are also acceptable.)
The roles of Boq, Nessarose, Dr. Dillamond and The Flying Monkeys will also have to be cast at some point, but apparently not everyone "has seen Wicked" and "knows what any of those names mean" so we'll end it here. But just for now. Not for good.