Michelle Yeoh has been pictured for the first time filming scenes for the big-screen adaptation of the Broadway musical Wicked, playing Madame Morrible – alongside Ariana Grande on set in Buckinghamshire, UK.
The role of Madame Morrible was originated by Tony winning British-born actress Carole Shelley in the 2003 Broadway production, that also starred Kristin Chenoweth in Ariana’s role of Galinda/Glinda, and Idina Menzel as Elphaba, played by Cynthia Erivo in the film.
Morrible – a character who also been played by Miriam Margolyes – is the headmistress of Crage Hall at Shiz University and a cohort of The Wizard.
Fresh off her Oscar win for Everything Everywhere All at Once, Michelle, 60, was seen on Wednesday giving fans a first glimpse at her take on the character.
Staying faithful to the Broadway show, Michelle was styled similarly to how the original outfit worn by Carole, decked out in a grand gold and emerald-colored ensemble.
Excitement on the movie has been building this week after it was revealed that early scenes were shown at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, wowing audiences – however, it is not scheduled to be released until November next year.
The film is based on Gregory Maguire’s best selling novel and the hit Broadway musical adaptation, which debuted in 2003.
Wicked EXCLUSIVE: Michelle Yeoh seen as Madame Morrible for the FIRST TIME as she joins Ariana Grande on Buckinghamshire set of the highly-anticipated movie version of the Broadway musical
It is a prequel to the The Wizard of Oz in which the storyline proceeds Dorothy and details the one-time friendship between the Elphaba and Glinda characters.
It also stars Jonathan Bailey as Fiyero, as well as Bowen Yang, Adam James, Keala Settle and Bronwyn James.
Wicked, which is being adapted into a two-part series, has kept details of its shoot under wraps.
Wicked Part 1 was originally set for a Christmas Day, 2024 release but it has been moved up to November 27, 2024, with the second installment set to arrive December 25, 2025.
Last month, Jeff Goldblum let it slip that he had been cast in the film while appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Joining the set: Michelle is seen with singer Ariana Grande as they take a break from filming in the UK on Wednesday
Source material: Staying faithful to the Broadway show, Michelle, 60, was styled similarly to how the original outfit worn by Carole, decked out in a grand gold and emerald-colored ensemble
Fan favourite: The film is based on Gregory Maguire’s best selling novel and the hit Broadway musical adaptation, which debuted in 2003
From afar: It appears as though the set designers have literally gone to town recreating the world of Oz
Incredible: An aerial view shows the UK set that has been transformed in the land of Oz
‘I was just on the set of Wicked. I’m not supposed to talk about that. But it’s been out and about,’ he said. ‘You should see our witches, Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande, very good.’
Recently, the stars of the film, Ariana and Cynthia, posted first look images from their upcoming movie.
Grande posted an image of her character, the good witch Glinda, donning a pink gown while making her way up a long staircase.
Erivo, 36, shared a shot of her character, wicked witch Elphaba pictured with her hat and broom.
Spellbinding: The film is a prequel to the The Wizard of Oz in which the storyline proceeds Dorothy and details the one-time friendship between the Elphaba and Glinda characters
Angelic: Early reports have revealed that Ariana is set to wow audiences with her incredible vocals
Soaking it all in: The 7 Rings films a big opening number in the Broadway adaptation
Wicked? Morrible – a character who also been played by Miriam Margolyes – is the headmistress of Crage Hall at Shiz University and a cohort of The Wizard
Tease: Excitement on the movie has been building this week after it was revealed that early scenes were shown at CinemaCon in Las Vegas
The film’s director Jon M. Chu posted both of shots with the caption, ‘You weren’t told the whole story. What happens when you veer off the Yellow Brick Road? FIRST LOOK of the #WickedMovie … currently in production in Oz.’
Erivo responded in the comments, ‘It’s been wonderful making magic with you.’
Chu also took to Twitter to praise his leading ladies and their performances in the upcoming movie.
‘I’ve already been changed for good by these two women… #CynthiaErivo & #ArianaGrande as the Witches of Oz,’ he said.
‘They will lift ur spirits, break ur heart and leave you speechless with their voices. So excited to introduce you into our world… SO much more to come…’
She’s got this: Director Jon M. Chu is seen with his starring lady Ariana
Born to play the role: The Grammy winner looks like a perfect fit for the part in these pictures
Ready to sing: Ariana will be belting out many famous songs from the Tony-winning musical
Fun group: The stars gathered with their director between takes
Meanwhile, original Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth has said she is ‘so proud’ of Ariana Grande for taking on her role of Glinda.
The 54-year-old actress was nominated for a Tony Award when she originated the part of the good witch in the smash hit musical and revealed the 29-year-old pop star was ‘really scared’ at the idea of taking on the role in the upcoming two-part movie adaptation.
Speaking on The Kelly Clarkson Show, she said this week: ‘She didn’t call me for advice but she was really nervous. She said she wanted to pay homage to me but said ‘I’m really scared, I wanna make you proud’. Well, she’s already made me proud. Done. Check.”
The former Pushing Daisies actress – who has known Ariana since she met her backstage at Wicked as a young fan almost 20 years ago – urged the Thank U, Next hitmaker to make the role her own and recalled their shared excitement when the singer called her to tell her she’d got the part.
Support: Meanwhile, original Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth has said she is ‘so proud’ of Ariana Grande for taking on her role of Glinda
Knows her stuff: Ariana is said to have met the original Glinda backstage at Wicked as a young fan almost 20 years ago
Like a princess: The costumes appear to be in keeping with how fans saw the show on Broadway
Songbird: Ariana is known for her vocal talents making her perfect for the role
She added: ‘I said ‘What I want to encourage you do, Ariana, is make Glinda your Glinda. I want you to do you.’ I’ve known her since I was 10, and now I see the full circle.
‘She called me [crying] like ‘I got it!’ I went ‘Oh my God, what?!’ We sounded like dogs! But I’m so proud of her. ‘
Ariana regularly calls Kristin about her ideas for her character and the ‘West Wing’ star “can’t wait” to see her on the big screen.
She said: ‘[Ariana] calls me and says ‘This is what I got to do, what do you think?’ I can’t wait to see her do it. I can’t wait. She just said ‘Kristin, I’m gonna be freaking out on the night of the premiere’
‘So I said ‘Stop, you’re gonna be great!'”