'It's destiny': Jon M. Chu thrilled to have cast Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande in Wicked

'It's destiny': Jon M. Chu thrilled to have cast Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande in Wicked

Jon M. Chu says that "destiny" enabled him to cast Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande in 'Wicked'.

The 44-year-old filmmaker is helming the two-part film adaptation of the hit stage musical and is grateful to have the stars featuring in the roles of witches Elphaba and Glinda respectively.

Speaking at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Thursday (11.04.24), Jon said: "When you find those two, you know it's destiny."

The 'Crazy Rich Asians' director explained how Cynthia, Ariana and himself have all incorporated "personal things" to add extra emotion to the film – the first part of which will be released in November with the second following in 2025.

Chu said: "We've gone through so many emotional journeys together."

The director explained how the musical has had a profound "impact" on his life as he went to see the show in San Francisco during his college days with his mother – who was undergoing chemotherapy at the time.

He recalled: "It was one of the best experiences of my life with her."

Chu said that releasing the film in two parts – rather than making one very long movie – is more reflective of the musical production and will keep fans satisfied.

The director said: "It has to be two parts for it to be something the fans recognise. Those two parts have to feel like a movie, you should want more but you can't be unsatisfied emotionally when you finish the first.

"There's a five-hour version, do we want that?"

Ariana explained that both she and her co-star had a "tremendous responsibility" in their depiction of the beloved characters.

The 30-year-old star said: "We both felt such a tremendous responsibility to honour these women and to pour our hearts, our souls, our tears – so many different pairs of lashes."