Why ex-‘Wicked’ cast member Adam Lambert suspected Ariana Grande would be in the film version back in 2018

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On Tuesday, it was announced that the first installment of the much-anticipated film version of Wicked, starring Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo, would be hitting theaters a month early: November 27, 2024. The casting of both stars wasn’t announced until November of 2021, but Adam Lambert, who was part of the national touring company and the LA production of Wicked, says he first suspected in 2018 that Ariana would be in the film.

Adam and Ariana were both part of the 2018 NBC special A Very Wicked Halloween, which marked the 15th anniversary of the beloved Broadway musical. “It’s crazy. I remember thinking to myself when Ariana was there singing the song, she had her green lipstick on, I went, ‘How did they get Ariana to come?'”he told ABC Audio.

He continued, “And I thought to myself, ‘Maybe there’s something going on. Maybe there’s some talks going on about the film.’ Because everybody that was in Wicked at one point or another knows that a film was imminent. We knew it was coming.”

Adam told ABC Audio approved of Ariana playing Glinda in the movie, and of Cynthia playing Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West.

“I’ve sung with Cynthia too, virtually. We did a duet during the pandemic for a charity, the Aretha Franklin/George Michael song, ‘I Knew You Were Waiting,’ and I met her in passing,” Adam recalled.

“And when she was announced, I was really excited because I know the show, obviously. I’ve done the show and I think she’ll sing the heck out of it and act the heck out of it,” he adds. “And I know Ariana will too, so it’s going to be really fun to watch.”

The second installment of Wicked is still slated for a Christmas 2025 release.

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