So much happened before Dorothy dropped in that you need two films to explain it all.

Good news! Wicked fans can prepare to dance through life a little longer... as in, an entire movie longer.

On Tuesday, Jon M. Chu — who is directing the highly anticipated adaptation of the popular and long-running Broadway show — revealed that the upcoming film would be split into two movies, marking the first time that kind of rollout will be utilized for a movie musical.

Universal will release the first Wicked movie on December 25, 2024, and the second movie will be released exactly a year later, on December 25, 2025.

"As we prepared the production over the last year, it became impossible to wrestle the story of Wicked into a single film without doing some real damage to it," Chu wrote in a statement he shared on Twitter. "As we tried to cut songs or trim characters, those decisions began to feel like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years. We decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and make not just one Wicked movie but two! With more space, we can tell the story of Wicked as it was meant to be told while bringing even more depth and surprise to the journeys for these beloved characters."

Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande are set to star as green girl Elphaba and bubbly blonde G(a)linda in the Wizard of Oz prequel about frenemies who go on to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch, respectively. Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the Broadway show's lyrics and music, is adapting the screenplay alongside Winnie Holzman.

Movie musicals usually end up cutting songs or shifting storylines to fit them into a run-time, so the fact that Wicked is doing the opposite is an interesting choice. On Broadway, the show clocks in at the standard two hours and 45 minutes. The book by Gregory Maguire, which serves as the show and musical's source material, is a denser read at 405 pages.

Does Wicked deserve to be split into two films? Well, maybe. Two films might mean we get to see more of Elphaba's childhood, which is detailed in the book but limited to a short interlude during the musical's opening number. That could include a bigger emphasis on Elphaba's relationship with her sister Nessarose and her parents. We might also get to see Glinda's backstory, which the musical doesn't show. Schwartz also mentioned writing new songs for the film and including songs that were originally cut from the Broadway production.

So there are some positive things about this news. Or we might just be getting an extra hour of Doctor Dillamond's goat teaching at Shiz University, which would be, er, "something b-a-a-a-a-d."

Does the world really need two Wicked films? Does getting two Wicked films mean we'll get an extended sequence of dancing Wizard heads in the song "One Short Day?" We'll find out next year.

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Wicked (Musical)
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