Wicked: Part One trailer is heavy on plot, light on music
The Broadway sensation comes to the big screen this winter.
The long-awaited trailer for Wicked: Part One has arrived, giving us our first look at musical icons Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande in the Wizard of Oz prequel.
Universal Pictures has gambled a lot on the project's success, choosing to break the film into two parts filmed back-to-back, with a combined budget reportedly in the region of $300 million.
Adding to the expense is this trailer, which secured a coveted Super Bowl advertising slot at a cost of approximately $7 million per 30 seconds of airtime.
In its corner is the wildly popular source material, which has become one of Broadway's longest-running shows, plus the pulling power of Erivo, Grande and their co-stars, including Academy Award winner Michelle Yeoh and Jeff Goldblum as the Wizard of Oz.
Get a look at the first trailer for Wicked: Part One below.
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Wicked: Part One comes from director Jon M Chu, whose previous work in the genre includes the screen version of In the Heights, the acclaimed musical from Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda. He also helmed 2018's box office hit Crazy Rich Asians.
Interestingly, this initial teaser continues a recent habit adopted by Hollywood studios – that being a perceived attempt at downplaying the musical elements of their major projects.
Besides a subtle reprise and a powerful note at the end of the trailer, there's not much to suggest that Wicked: Part One is indeed a musical, which is a marketing choice that both Warner Bros' Wonka and Paramount's Mean Girls were also accused of making.
To be fair, both films went on to be box office success stories, while The Colour Purple – which was more open about its musical aspects in pre-release trailers – has been a financial disappointment (as were Cats, In the Heights and 2021's West Side Story).
Perhaps cinema audiences are naturally more sceptical of the genre – if so, the reaction to Wicked: Part One will be a big test of whether more big-budget adaptations are viable.