Wicked stage production poster.

‘Wicked’ Movie Has Found the Perfect Star for One of Its Most Important Roles

The Wicked movie is shaping up to be one of those rare instances where the wait is going to be worth it. For years, we made jokes that this movie was never going to happen. From the announcement to when we actually started to get some casting news and whatnot was a long time, but it is shaping to be a pretty amazing adaptation of the hit Broadway musical from director Jon M. Chu, and now the film has found its Madame Morrible in Michelle Yeoh!

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Wicked will bring us two films about the infamous Wicked Witch of the West and her time in school, and while the musical shows audiences Elphaba (Cynthia Erivo) and Glinda (Ariana Grande) as they explore their friendship and what it means to be truly good, the surrounding cast of Wicked is just as important to make this show work.

Yeoh joins the recent wave of casting announcements for the film, which include Johnny Bailey as Fieryo and Ethan Slater as Boq (we are still missing our Nessarose, though), and it is shaping up to be a cast that actually has me excited about these two movies. I’m excited about both Bailey and Slater, but the casting of Yeoh has me particularly happy because the role is incredibly important, and without a strong presence, can be left unmemorable.

The importance of Madame Morrible

Madame Morrible is the kind of character that is a driving force in the show. While we’re spending time with both Glinda and Elphaba, without Madame Morrible, Elphaba would never be forced into this negative light that the show shines upon her. Morrible saw her as the connection needed to make the Wizard and his lies work. She’s hiding the truth of what is happening in Oz, and we have to trust her just as Elphaba does in order for that betrayal to really hurt.

Yeoh is someone who we have all loved and trusted throughout our lives as fans of her work, and casting someone like her to bring us into the Wizard’s world with Elphaba is going to really work, I think, in order to make that betrayal hurt so much more.

But Yeoh and the addition of Slater are showing that this casting of Wicked has so far been incredibly different from past adaptations of musicals. I’m used to getting a musical movie that features big names who sort of sing as the lead roles, and occasionally we’ll get a theatre performer thrown in for a role. Look at things like Les Misérables, where we got Aaron Tveit and Samantha Barks in the film but at what cost?

Wicked has been continually casting performers who have been known for their theatre work, and Yeoh and Jeff Goldblum as the Wizard are somewhat the exceptions to the casting so far, and it is refreshing to see! I know that Yeoh is going to be an incredible Madame Morrible, and this movie just … continues to excite me in a way that I didn’t think it could.

(featured image: Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic)


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Author
Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.