“It took one tweet to convince the ICON (and dear friend) #MichelleYeoh to play our Madame Morrible in #WickedMovie,” the filmmaker tweeted along with an article by The Hollywood Reporter confirming the casting. (Variety was first to report the news.) “Am I the luckiest director in the world to get to work with her again?! Spoiler alert: yes I am. Welcome to Shiz.”
In the Broadway version of the beloved Wizard of Oz prequel, Yeoh’s character serves as the headmistress of Shiz and promises to introduce Elphaba to the famous Wizard himself, leading into fan-favorite number “The Wizard and I.”
As filming begins on the silver-screen musical — which is being split into two movies — Tony-nominated actor Ethan Slater was announced as Boq, joining Ariana Grande as Glinda, Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and Bridgerton heartthrob Jonathan Bailey as Fiyero. According to THR, Jeff Goldblum will also be playing the Wizard.
Grande celebrated Yeoh’s casting in her Instagram Stories, reposting Chu’s announcement along with dozens of exclamation points.
Idina Menzel, who originated the role of Elphaba on the Great White Way, revealed the advice she gave to Erivo and Grande via a November appearance on E! News. “Just always keeping in mind that what’s underneath it all is just a woman that wants to be loved,” she said. “Think of all the other little young women or men that are or anybody that are watching them to see what it’s like to be different but be beautiful and to own that.”
See Chu’s tweet welcoming Yeoh to Shiz below.