Wicked Film Moves Up November Release, Will Compete With Gladiator 2 5

Wicked fans won’t have to wait quite as long as expected to watch Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo in the film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical.

Universal Pictures announced Monday that director Jon M. Chu’s musical feature will hit theaters Nov. 22. The film has moved up from its previously scheduled release on Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving, with the new date giving the movie more time to build word of mouth heading into the holiday corridor. The new date also allows it to avoid Disney’s Moana 2.

It will now compete against Paramount’s Gladiator II, which also hits theaters Nov. 22 and stars Paul Mescal in Ridley Scott’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning 2000 historical epic.

Wicked adapts the Tony-winning Broadway musical of the same name, which is itself based on author Gregory Maguire’s 1995 book, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. The project adapts characters that originated in L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and were brought to life in the Oscar-winning 1939 film musical The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland as Dorothy.

The film stars Grande as Glinda and Erivo as Elphaba, with Michelle Yeoh, Jonathan Bailey, Ethan Slater, Jeff Goldblum and Bowen Yang rounding out the cast. Marc Platt and David Stone serve as producers.

“We dreamed very, very, very big for Wicked,” Chu told the CinemaCon crowd when debuting footage at the Las Vegas event in April. “A magical land of sights and sounds that will astonish, and performances that will lift your spirits and occasionally break your heart.”

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