Jeff Goldblum To Play The Wizard Of Oz In Both Wicked Movies

Imagine it: you've made it to the Emerald City, and you finally get the chance to peek behind the curtain. Who's back there? Is that ... Jeff Goldblum?! The not-so-wonderful Wizard of Oz featured in "Wicked" will be played by a familiar face, according to Variety, as Goldblum is apparently in talks to take on the role of the Wizard in the two-part film adaptation of the stage play.

Goldblum will join the star-studded cast of John M. Chu's "Wicked," which will be headlined by Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande. It's worth noting, though, that this Wizard is far from the same role that Frank Morgan originated in 1939's "The Wizard of Oz" movie. In "Wicked," which is based on Gregory Maguire's 1995 novel, the Wizard isn't an ordinary man pulling some strings, but a dictator. The Wizard's full name is Oscar Zoroaster Diggs, and he uses magic and violence to gain and keep power in Oz until Elphaba (Erivo) and Glinda (Grande) come along.

Given his talent for playing eccentric, influential bad guys in movies like "Thor: Ragnarok" and shows like "Search Party," Goldblum might be a great fit for this role. It'll be interesting to see if he can seem truly threatening, though, given that even his villain roles tens tend to be inexplicably likable. There's also the matter of the films' musical elements: while the Wizard isn't the biggest singer of the group, he does appear in at least two numbers, singing "A Sentimental Man" and dueting with Elphaba on "Wonderful." Oscar and Tony-winner Joel Grey originated the Wizard role on Broadway.

The cast continues to grow

The rest of the cast of "Wicked" has been slowly filling out in recent months, with "Bridgerton" breakout star Jonathan Bailey joining last month as Fiyero, a prince who ends up being Elphaba's love interest. Some major roles, including those of Madame Morrible, Nessarose, Boq, and Doctor Dillamond, have yet to be announced. The film adaptation of the much-loved play seems to be quite the undertaking, as "In the Heights" filmmaker Chu announced in April that the movie will be split into two parts. In a statement shared on Twitter, he said:

"Here's what happened: as we prepared this production over the last year, it became increasingly clear that it would be impossible to wrestle the story of WICKED into a single film without doing some real damage to it. As we tried to cut songs or trim characters, those decisions began to feel like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years."

The first "Wicked" film is expected in theaters on Christmas day 2024, with the second arriving a year later.