The beloved Broadway musical Wicked has been taking a long (yellow brick) road to get to the big screen, but it seems the tale of the two witches of Oz is will finally arrive in 2021. Last week, Universal Pictures announced that its Wicked film adaptation will hit theaters Dec. 22, 2021, after being bumped from a 2019 slot by a starry musical adaptation of Cats. Now that green means go once again, we got to thinking who we’d like to see defy gravity on the big screen. Click through to see our dream cast for Wicked.
Hailey Kilgore as Elphaba
Of course, we’d have loved to see original Broadway cast members Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth revisit their roles, but the show is now 15 years old and they’ve unfortunately aged out of being able to play college freshman on screen. Menzel was already an established Broadway presence when she played Elphaba, the misunderstood Wicked Witch who yearns to use her powers for good. However, Wicked secured her place in the Broadway pantheon. So, we propose that another Broadway star just waiting to take flight should don that pointed hat. Hailey Kilgore wowed audiences in 2018’s Once On This Island, earning a Tony nomination fresh out of high school for her portrayal of lovestruck Ti Moune. We know she could bring the vulnerability, quirkiness, and major pipes Elphaba requires to the project. There’s only one question left really: Does she look good in green?
Dove Cameron as Glinda
The Disney Channel star is tailor-made to hop from one fairy-tale world to the next after her experiences playing Mal in Disney’s Descendants franchise. We know she’s got the musical chops for the perky blonde mean girl turned empathetic friend, based on her brilliant take as Queen Bee Amber Von Tussle on NBC’s Hairspray Live. A particular bonus? Cameron has been tapped by Glinda the Good herself for the role: Kristin Chenoweth said in an interview the actress would be her choice to step into Glinda’s bubble. We suspect this would make her popular.
Darren Criss as Fiyero
Criss is flying high at the moment, having nabbed an Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG award for his portrayal of serial killer Andrew Cunanan on FX’s Assassination of Gianni Versace. But he broke onto the scene with his winning smile and musical stylings on “Teenage Dream” as crush-worthy private school student Blaine on Glee. Fiyero is essentially the straight, slightly older version of that character, and we’d love to see Criss in a role that gives him the opportunity to sing on screen again. He has all the requisite charm and vocal prowess. We can’t think of anyone we’d rather go dancing through life with.
Danny Burstein as the Wizard
The Wizard is a role perfectly suited to venerable Broadway veterans, having been originated by Joel Grey on Broadway. Danny Burstein, who’s earned six Tony nominations, most recently for his turn as Tevye in a revival of Fiddler on the Roof, has the Broadway cred and wry warmth required here. The Wizard is a slippery figure — a secretly vulnerable and lonely man, as well as a power-mad dictator — and Burstein could toe the line between the two extremes with ease. His recent turns in the Boston tryout of Moulin Rouge and as Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady prove he’s found the sweet spot between jovial cad and something more sinister. It’s a wonderful choice, if we do say so ourselves.
Donna Lynn Champlin as Madame Morrible
Let’s be honest: With Crazy Ex-Girlfriend about to end its four-season run on the CW, we’re just looking for more ways to see Donna Lynne Champlin back on screen. Her crackling comedic timing, incredible vocal range, and warm heart are deeply felt each week as Paula on the series, and we’re infinitely grateful to Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna for sharing her gifts with us. Originated by comedic genius Carole Shelley, Madame Morrible is an over-the-top grande dame, who at first seems a mentor to Elphaba but is revealed as something far more sinister. We know Champlin could rock Morrible’s more lighthearted moments while still nailing her dark turn. Plus, it would provide a wonderful, if brief showcase for Champlin’s vocal prowess.
Sarah Jeffery as Nessarose
Jeffery is already well-versed in witchcraft and sisterhood, currently starring as one of the three Charmed Ones on the CW’s reboot of Charmed. On that series, she recently showcased her vocal skills when her character, Maggie, joined her college a capella group. Nessa is a bundle of contradictions, both overly reliant on Elphaba and hungry for love, but kindhearted in her own way too. Jeffery has the emotional range to make Nessa’s brief moments in the story powerful, memorable, and heartbreaking. Nessa, uh, Nessa, we have something to confess, we think Sarah Jeffery is perfect for this part.
Ben Platt as Boq
When you’re casting and need a good fit, Ben Platt will be found. We saw him bring both gut-wrenching vulnerability and a palpable awkwardness to his Tony-winning turn in Dear Evan Hansen, and those qualities make him a great fit for the charmingly lovesick Munchkin Boq. His mastery of Evan Hansen’s angrier moments would be ideal for Boq’s second-act transition into a more recognizable figure in Oz. While Boq doesn’t have many stand-out vocal moments, we know Platt brings some serious Broadway pipes to the proceedings. Plus, shouldn’t it just be a rule now that all musicals featuring twentysomethings find a role for Platt?
Steve Buscemi as Doctor Dillamond
Given that he’s going to be covered in heavy prosthetics and madeup to look like a goat, you need a very gung-ho character actor for the role of Doctor Dillamond. Who better than Steve Buscemi? He could bring his signature offbeat approach to the brief but crucial role — and yes, he does have a nice singing voice. Buscemi is a master at morphing into whatever the role requires of him, and his distinct physicality is ideal for this character. Something baaad may be happening in Oz, but there’s nothing wrong with this casting choice.