Speed Reads

no one sees the wicked

Wicked movie unveils 1st look, but fans complain it's too dark to see

We're off to see the wizard ... just after we turn the brightness up on our computer screens. 

Director Jon M. Chu has unveiled the first look at Wicked, the movie version of the wildly popular Broadway musical set in the world of The Wizard of Oz. Two teaser images were revealed, one of which showed Ariana Grande's Glinda ascending a staircase while wearing a pink dress. The other showed Cynthia Erivo's Elphaba, a.k.a. the Wicked Witch of the West, though it's shot from behind so we can't see her face.

Speaking of not being able to see, some fans complained the images, particularly the one of Grande, were too dark to make anything out, echoing criticism of the lighting in the final season of Game of Thrones. The complaints were so widespread that Chu soon responded to them, assuring fans the whole film won't look like this. Writer Roxane Gay, for example, tweeted it's "really infuriating" that "they don't have a lighting budget," leading Chu to reply, "Don't worry we still have a year and half to show you our colors! Trust me, plenty of colors in Oz." After a fan tweeted that the movie looks too dark given it's based on a "bright, in your face show," Chu also replied, "Don't worry, color is in my DNA ... this is just the first tease." 

The Wicked movie also stars Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Yeoh, and Bowen Yang, and it hits theaters in November 2024. But, in a controversial decision, the musical has been split up into two films, with the second one scheduled to debut in 2025.

"It became increasingly clear that it would be impossible to wrestle the story of Wicked into a single film without doing some real damage to it," Chu previously said, adding that "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 of these beloved characters."