Last year, it was officially announced that the long-awaited Wicked movie was finally coming from In the Heights director Jon M. Chu with Ariana Grande playing Glinda and Cynthia Erivo playing Elphaba. Since the news dropped, there has been a lot of casting updates, including the news that Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey would be playing Fiyero and Jurassic Park alum Jeff Goldblum was in final talks to play the Wizard. Now, Variety is reporting that the film has found its Boq.
According to the report, Broadway veteran Ethan Slater is taking on the role of Boq, the Munchkinlander who eventually turns into an iconic character. Previously, Slater received a Tony nomination for playing the titular role in SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical. He also played Joel Grey in the Emmy-winning limited series, Fosse/Verdon. Chu has since shared the news as well as some fun posts about the casting. "I have something to confess-a... @ethansaslater you have been accepted to #ShizUmiversity! Welcome to Oz," Chu wrote. "Jon! I love it here," Slater replied. You can view the interaction below:
Jon! I love it here— Ethan Slater (@ethansaslater) December 7, 2022
What Is Wicked About?
Wicked was based on Gregory Maguire's novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, and the show was composed by Stephen Schwartz with a book by Winnie Holzman. The story follows witches and friends Glinda and Elphaba before the events of The Wizard of Oz. There are many iconic songs in the musical, but the most famous is probably the first act closer, "Defying Gravity." During a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Erivo talked about tackling the famous song.
"I've been listening to it, and I've sung it. I kind of just go with it naturally," Erivo explained while doing press for Disney's Pinocchio. "There's the temptation to push and to do too much with it. I don't know that that's what my method will be. I think my method will be to communicate the meaning of the song as much as I can."
Why Is Wicked in Two Parts?
Earlier this year, Chu announced that the Wicked movie would be released in two parts.
"Here's what happened: As we prepared the production over the last year, it became impossible to wrestle the story of 'Wicked' into a single film without doing some real damage to it," Chu wrote in a statement. "As we tried to cut songs or trim characters, those decisions began to feel like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years. We decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and make not just one 'Wicked' movie but two! With more space, we can tell the story of 'Wicked' as it was meant to be told while bringing even more depth and surprise to the journeys for these beloved characters."
Wicked's first part is expected to be released in December 2024.