Entertainment

OG Glinda Kristin Chenoweth says Ariana Grande was ‘destined’ to carry her legacy in Wicked movie

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Theater legend Kristin Chenoweth has cast a spell of good fortune on Ariana Grande as the pop star prepares to tackle the big-screen version of a role the Broadway icon originated in the beloved stage musical Wicked.

“I’m not sure if I’ve ever been this proud. From the very first day I met you (swipe to see!!), you were destined for this role,” the 53-year-old wrote in an Instagram post alongside a throwback photo of the pair posing together after a performance of Wicked that Grande saw as a child. “Congratulations @arianagrande! The best Glinda you will be with @cynthiaerivo by your side 💗💚 I love you!!”

Grande and Cynthia Erivo were announced as the stars of the long-awaited movie version’s cast on Thursday; Grande will portray Glinda the Good Witch in director Jon M. Chu‘s film, while the Oscar-nominated Harriet actress Erivo will play Elphaba before the character becomes the legendary Wicked Witch of the West as seen in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

Initially set for release on Dec. 22, 2021, the film version was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. Original composer Stephen Schwartz previously told EW that “progress was being made” before the outbreak halted momentum. Still, Schwartz and original book writer Winnie Holzmann collaborated on adapting the screenplay for the film, with Chu being brought on as director earlier this year.

THE VOICE -- "Battle Reality" -- Pictured: (l-r) Kristin Chenoweth, Ariana Grande

THE VOICE — “Battle Reality” — Pictured: (l-r) Kristin Chenoweth, Ariana Grande

Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Original ‘Wicked’ star Kristin Chenoweth and upcoming ‘Wicked’ star Ariana Grande

Chenoweth first originated the role of Glinda on Broadway in 2003, while Idina Menzel portrayed Elphaba. The original musical, which won three Tony Awards and six Drama Desk honors, is itself adapted from Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Hear more on all of this weekend’s must-see picks, plus what Condor star Constance Zimmer is watching, in EW’s What to Watch podcast, hosted by Gerrad Hall.

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