From viscount to prince—Variety reports that Bridgerton heartthrob Jonathan Bailey is in talks to play Fiyero in Jon M. Chu’s film adaptations of the Broadway musical Wicked.
Set before the events of The Wizard of Oz, Wicked tells the story of G(a)linda the Good Witch and Elphaba, who would come to be known as the Wicked Witch of the West. The women, who begin the musical as college roommates, find their unlikely friendship challenged from almost every angle—including a love triangle with local prince Fiyero.
Though Bailey is a veteran stage actor, starring in West End productions since childhood, most know him as Viscount Anthony Bridgerton, the regal and rakish eldest son of the Netflix series’ titular family.
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Bailey will join a talented cast that includes megastar Ariana Grande as Glinda and Tony Winner Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba.
Per Variety, Bailey is represented by Anonymous Content, Conway van Gelder Grant Ltd, CAA, Relevant and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller, Gellman, Meigs & Fox.
Wicked Film Adaptation Will Be Split Into Two Parts
Universal Stage Productions
Based on a 400-page novel and a nearly three-hour musical runtime, Wicked has no shortage of story to tell. In order to preserve as much of that story as possible, the big screen adaptation will be told across two films.
Director Jon M. Chu says that separating the films into two parts was a necessary move to avoid “doing some damage” to Wicked’s story.
“The truth is we tried for some time to make it one movie, even if it had to be one very long movie. But we kept running into two problems. The first is that even as a very long single movie, it required us cutting or omitting things that we wanted to include and that we think fans of the show and the story will appreciate,” Chu told Schwartz Scene about the two-movie approach.
Chu also said that one of the most well-known songs from the musical, Defying Gravity, was a natural “curtain drawing” moment.
“…We found it very difficult to get past Defying Gravity without a break. That song is written specifically to bring a curtain down, and whatever scene to follow it without a break just seemed hugely anti-climactic,” he said. “So for these two reasons, plus the excitement of doing something that’s never been done before with a musical, we decided to do two movies. Of course, when it’s all done, if it doesn’t work that way, we’ll have to figure something out. But we strongly believe that this is what’s best for our story, our show, and our fans.”
Wicked Part 1 is set to open on Christmas Day 2024, with the second part expected Christmas 2025.