Jon M. Chu reveals upcoming 'Wicked' has live vocals, less CGI


Director Jon M. Chu revealed that his upcoming two-part musical film “Wicked,” starring Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo, will feature live vocals instead of pre-recorded audio.

Key points:

  • Chu dropped the teaser in an interview with Vanity Fair, revealing that lead stars Grande and Erivo, who play Glinda and Elphaba, respectively, were the ones who suggested opting out of the recorded audios.

  • “These are live vocals,” Chu said. “When we were shooting it, those girls were like, ‘F*ck the pre-records. We’re going live.’” The director admitted that he was skeptical at first, but after seeing them perform and how they did not miss a beat, he went ahead with it.

The details:

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  • Grande and Erivo also shared behind-the-scenes details about their performances, including doing their own stunts while singing.

  • “She had a harness pulling and pushing and yanking and tugging on every nook and cranny that there is,” Grande told Vanity Fair, recalling Erivo’s number on “Defying Gravity.”

  • Besides the singing, Chu also shared that he wanted to make “Wicked” as realistic as possible without relying too much on CGI: “I was like, ‘I want to do it the way I dreamed about it as a kid when I watched Hook.’ Behind the scenes, Steven Spielberg was on a dock with a giant pirate ship. I’m like, ‘If this is my one opportunity to do this, I want to do that.’”

About the movie:

  • “Wicked” follows the story of how Glinda and Elphaba turn from friends into mortal enemies as they try to uncover their destinies in the fantastical land of Oz.

  • The film is an adaptation of the 2003 Broadway musical of the same title, which was loosely based on Gregory Maguire's 1993 novel “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.”

  • The Broadway show, produced by Marc Platt and David Stone who were also the producers of the movie, is the second highest-grossing Broadway show of all time behind “The Lion King.”

  • The film will feature Michelle Yeoh, Bowen Yang, Jonathan Bailey, Marissa Bode, Ethan Slater, Jeff Goldblum, Keala Settle, Adam James, Bronwyn James and Colin Michael Carmichael.

  • The first part of “Wicked” is set for release on Nov. 27, 2024, while the second part will hit theaters on Nov. 26, 2025.


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