Ariana Grande & Cynthia Erivo Sing 'Popular’ & 'Defying Gravity' in Full 'Wicked' Trailer

“Are people born wicked, or do they have wickedness thrust upon them?” This is the question at the heart of Wicked, both the Broadway musical and the movie musical. The full official trailer welcomes viewers into the world of the magical Shiz University, where queen bee Glinda the Good Witch (Ariana Grande) first meets Elphaba (otherwise known as the Wicked Witch of the West, played by Cynthia Erivo).

The film, which will be released in two parts, two years apart, delves deep into the story of Glinda and Elphaba’s rivalry-turned-friendship. The trailer shows Grande as Glinda plotting to embarrass Elphaba, who is already an outsider due to her green skin. Paired up as roommates, Grande belts one of the Broadway show’s most famous tunes, “Popular,” and it’s clear Elphaba is up against some classic mean girl antics.

Soon, though, Elphaba is chosen by headmistress Madame Morrible (played by an elegantly gray-haired Michelle Yeoh) for her superior supernatural powers. As Elphaba embarks on a journey to Oz to meet the Wizard himself (played by a blustering Jeff Goldblum), Glinda tags along for the ride, and the two discover that there is power in solidarity as they join in a live-recorded duet of “Defying Gravity.”

While doing press for Wicked, Grande and Erivo have both been quick to sing each other’s praises.

“I just need to say that I don’t think people realize that she’s got the chops,” Erivo said of Grande in an interview with Vanity Fair. “I don’t think people realize how brilliant this person’s brain and voice and talent is.” Grande added of Erivo, “She’s my favorite female voice. When I was watching you sing at the Oscars, I said, ‘I hope someday I get to sing with her.’”

Erivo also recalled one of Grande’s stunts, seen in the trailer: “I’m literally never going to forget you jumping on a chandelier over my head whilst singing,” she said, to which Grande replied: “[Glinda] was just so excited to perform for her new friend. She wanted to do a trick.”

Erivo first broke through as a theater actress, winning the 2016 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Celie Harris in Broadway’s The Color Purple (she’s since become an Emmy and a Grammy winner, putting her close to coveted EGOT status). While Grande is better known as a pop star with a whistle register that gives Mariah Carey a run for her money, fans know she’s a true theater nerd who also got her start on Broadway, playing a cheerleader in the 2008 musical 13. Grande has been vying for the role of Glinda for years, joking that she “stalked” producers of the film project, which has had many stops and starts over the past decade. A recent video of both Grande and Erivo finding out they were cast in Wicked shows the two bursting into tears.

The rest of the Wicked cast includes SNL’s Bowen Yang, Harlots’s Bronwyn James, Tony nominee (and Grande’s boyfriend) Ethan Slater, and Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey. The Jon M. Chu film premieres in theaters nationwide on November 27, 2024.

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