Defying Gravity: The Curtain Rises on Wicked Will Air on NBC This Fall | Playbill

Film & TV News Defying Gravity: The Curtain Rises on Wicked Will Air on NBC This Fall

Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande will lead a TV special celebrating the upcoming Wicked films.

Fellow Oz-ians, before the Wicked film hits movie theatres November 27, its stars are coming together for a television special. Defying Gravity: The Curtain Rises on Wicked, a behind-the-scenes celebration of Universal Pictures’ upcoming feature film of the international hit musical Wicked, will air on NBC November 25.

The TV event will feature co-stars Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande, who will lead a journey through this newest version of Oz, unveiling some of the film's spectacular sets.

Erivo and Grande will be joined by their co-stars, including Michelle Yeoh, Jeff Goldblum, Jonathan Bailey, and more. The actors will share memories, video diaries, and secrets of the making of Wicked, culminating in the debut of an exclusive scene from the film.

Andrew Smith will executive produce. Monkey Kingdom will produce. Look back at the film's first trailer above.

As previously reported, the first part of the much-anticipated two-part screen adaptation hits movie theatres November 27. The adaptation's second part is scheduled to release November 26, 2025.

The Wicked films, adapted from the long-running Broadway hit, star Tony winner Erivo as Elphaba and pop star (and Broadway alum) Grande as Glinda. West End Company Olivier winner and Bridgerton star Bailey is set to star as Fiyero, with SpongeBob SquarePants star Ethan Slater as Boq.

Also in the cast are 2023 Oscar winner Yeoh as Madame Morrible, Goldblum as The Wizard, Peter Dinklage as Dr. Dillamond and, and newcomer Marissa Bode as Nessarose, the first wheelchair-using actor in the musical's history to take on the role. Stage and screen star Keala Settle, SNL's Bowen Yang, Bronwyn James, Aaron Teoh, and Colin Michael Carmichael will play roles new to the musical's screen version, with Settle as Miss Coddle, Carmichael as Professor Nikidik, and Yang, James, and Teoh as Shiz students Pfannee, ShenShen, and Avaric, respectively.

The screen adaptation, which will include new songs by Stephen Schwartz, will be helmed by In the Heights screen director Jon M. Chu. Wicked book writer Winnie Holzman has penned the screenplay, and Tony winner Paul Tazewell is designing costumes.

Wicked, injecting a new backstory onto the classic tale The Wizard of Oz, debuted on Broadway in 2003 and continues to be an audience favorite at the Gershwin Theatre. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, the musical features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. The original cast included Tony winners Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth as Elphaba and Glinda, respectively. The musical has subsequently been performed in more than 100 cities across 16 countries and is now the fourth longest-running production in Broadway history.

The show won 2004 Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical (Menzel), Best Costume Design (Susan Hilferty), and Best Scenic Design (Eugene Lee).

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