Wicked Movie: Who Is Elphaba? Actress & Character Details Explained

By Savannah Sanders Updated:
Wicked Movie Elphaba Elphaba

Cynthia Erivo is poised to star in Wicked as the integral Elphaba Thropp.

Set to release on November 27, Wicked is the highly anticipated movie adaption of the hit Broadway musical revolving around The Wizard of Oz’s witches. 

Photos have already shown Ariana Grande as Glinda, the future of Good Witch, wearing a candy-pink ballgown costume. But now, Universal’s first trailer for the upcoming blockbuster just offered the best look yet at the film's protagonist, Cynthia Erivo’s Elphaba. 

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 Who Plays Elphaba in Wicked?

Cynthia Erivo in Wicked

Wicked's first trailer just offered multiple looks at actress Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba Thropp, the young green-skinned woman who eventually becomes the Wicked Witch of the West. 

Cynthia Erivo
Cynthia Erivo

Erivo is known for her roles in Bad Times at the El Royale, Chaos, and her Academy Award-nominated performance in Harriet, as well as being a Tony Award-winning stage actress for Broadway's The Color Purple.

She's also an established voice actress, having voiced characters for Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Strange Planet, and Star Wars: Visions.

Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande in Wicked

In Wicked, Erivo's shy but gifted Elphaba strikes up a friendship, and later a rivalry, with Grande's Glinda as both embark on their paths to becoming Oz's Wicked Witch and the Good Witch. 

Check out the full trailer below:

More Than One Wicked Movie For Cynthia Erivo

Due to the popularity of Broadway's Wicked, all eyes are on Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo for how they portray the duo, as well as how director John M. Chu adapts the stage production to the screen. 

However, November is only the beginning of Erivo and Grande's performance as this year's film is only Part One

Wicked: Part Two arrives November 26, 2025, and will only continue, and likely intensify, Elphaba and Glinda's dramatic journey. 

It is also worth noting that Wicked may have another story to tell. 

Wicked: Part One is set to release on the same day as Disney's recently announced Moana 2, setting the stage for a musical showdown at the box office. 

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Wicked arrives in theaters on November 27, 2024.

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.