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Jeff Goldblum Is Reportedly In Talks To Play The Wizard In Jon M. Chu's Wicked Movies

The Wicked Witch of the West is a character from film and literature that has endured in the public imagination for all the wrong reasons. It wasn't until the 2003 stage musical "Wicked" that the sorceress's reputation as a misunderstood, multi-dimensional personality was recognized beyond the evil stereotypes since the time of "The Wizard of Oz." Based on the 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, the musical premiered in 2003 and went on to play around the world and break merchandising records never before seen (via Playbill). A movie adaptation of the stage show was finally announced in 2021, with Cynthia Erivo playing the role of Elphaba Thropp (aka the Wicked Witch of the West) made popular by Idina Menzel on Broadway.

Additional casting news included Ariana Grande as Glinda and "Bridgerton" alum Jonathan Bailey playing the role of Fiyero. The film will be directed by Jon M. Chu, whose previous credits include "Crazy Rich Asians," and "In the Heights." As it seems, the cast keeps expanding with exciting additions, with Variety reporting that Jeff Goldblum is in talks to play the Wizard in what will be a two-part film adaptation of the musical.

Jeff Goldblum might join Ariana Grande, Cynthia Erivo, and Jonathan Bailey in two-part movie adaptation

Although Deadline reported that Jeff Goldblum's role as The Wizard in the "Wicked" films is far from being finalized, his many eccentric and witty performances make such a character easy to imagine when we think of the actor as a wizard. The actor has become a household name thanks in part to his ability not to take himself too seriously, which allows the roles he takes to become as outlandish and irreverent as possible while still maintaining a certain amount of appeal (per The Washington Post).

Additionally, The Hollywood Reporter stated that principal photography for both movies is set to begin in January 2023, with a tentative theatrical release date of Christmas Day 2024 for the first film and the second installment one year later in 2025. If he joins the cast, Goldblum will be in good company as he plays a role originated on Broadway by Joel Grey, and if Grey's words are any indication, it should be a wonderful experience for Goldblum. "How often does a guy get to be the only person in the world who can sing, 'I'm off to be the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz'—eight times a week?" Grey told Playbill in 2004. "For me, I'm always looking for the truth of the man. I didn't look at the movie when I knew I was going to do this. I wanted to rediscover it on my own."