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‘Wicked' movie whirls ‘Part 1’ premiere to Thanksgiving 2024

The tornado forecast puts Oz in theaters sooner than we thought.

By Benjamin Bullard
"Wicked" Sign at Gershwin Theater

’Tis the season to shuffle the release calendar for what’s shaping up to be one of the biggest arrivals of next year’s holiday period — no matter which way the movie winds blow. The first musical fantasy installment in director Jon M. Chu’s sprawling two-part adaptation of Broadway smash Wicked is now set to touch down a month ahead of its originally-planned Dec. 25, 2024 premiere.

That welcome news comes via The Hollywood Reporter, which flags Nov. 27, 2024 (or the Wednesday that precedes Thanksgiving) as the new arrival date for Wicked Part 1 to kick up dust with its insanely stacked A-list cast.

Maybe it’s leads Ariana Grande (Glinda) and Cynthia Erivo (Elphaba) who’ve got us so excited…or maybe we’re just irrationally anxious to hear Jeff Goldblum croon as the Wizard of Oz himself. Either way, a month’s an eternity when you’re talking a musical fantasy bigger than Kansas, meaning Michelle Yeoh (Madame Morrible) and her new Best Actress Oscar will feel that much fresher when Wicked’s first installment whirls along in time to officially kick off the 2024 holidays.

RELATED: The 14 best fantasy movies you can stream right now, from 'Harry Potter' to 'The Shape of Water'

Thank the synergy of early shopping-season bustle for Universal Pictures’ Wicked shift from Christmas Day to Turkey Day. THR notes the long-developing spectacle, set in the enchanted emerald land of creator L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, can spin up extra buzz with the added holiday runway…along with more time ahead of Christmas, of course, to put Wicked merchandise in fans’ witchy stockings.

Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) is helming both films in the pair of Wicked movie chapters, conceived as a unified single story that’s just so epic it’ll take two installments to tell. The movies expand on the iconic 2003 Broadway musical of the same name, itself based on author Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Part 1 will arrive as an adaptation from Oscar-winning composer Stephen Schwartz (Pocahontas, The Prince of Egypt) and Wicked Broadway book writer Winnie Holzman.

A prequel to Baum’s original Oz story, Wicked explores Elphaba’s origins as the Wicked Witch of the West while delving into the Wizard’s background as both her control-freaking father and a despot in the making. Jonathan Bailey (Bridgerton) is also set to star as Elphaba’s love interest Prince Fiyero, with Ethan Slater (SpongeBob SquarePants) portraying Boq the Munchkin.

Grab a broom and sweep your calendar clear now: Wicked Part 1 brings the Broadway musical to life in theaters with its new release date of Nov. 27, 2024, followed a year later by Part 2, slated to premiere when the 2025 holidays roll around.

Suddenly in the mood for some Oz-universe fun? Head on over to Peacock and check out The Steam Engines of Oz starring Ron Perlman, William Shatner, and Julianne Hough.