Entertainment Movies Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo's 'Wicked' Will Be 2 Movies, Director Reveals: 'More Depth, Surprise' The first of the two Wicked movies will debut in December 2024 By Benjamin VanHoose Published on April 26, 2022 12:54 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Wicked is getting a double order! On Tuesday, director Jon M. Chu revealed that his upcoming big-screen adaptation of Wicked, starring Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo, will now be told across two films that bring "even more depth and surprise" to the famous Broadway musical's story. "Here's what happened," Chu wrote in a letter shared on social media. "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." "So we decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and make not just one Wicked movie but TWO!!!!" he continued. "With more space, we can tell the story of Wicked as it was meant to be told while bringing even more depth and surprise to the journeys of these beloved characters." Chu, 42, added that the first film will debut in December 2024, with the second part releasing a year later for the next holiday season. Cynthia Erivo Reveals How She and Ariana Grande Are Bonding for Wicked Movie: 'It's a Sisterhood' Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. "Cynthia, Ariana, and I — and all of the cast and crew — pledge to create nothing less than an experience that honors its foundation for all the fans who've waited for this movie, and to offer a thrilling, fantastical world full of dynamic characters that invites in those who are unfamiliar," wrote Chu, who previously directed Crazy Rich Asians and In the Heights. Grande shared the update on Instagram with the caption, "some thrillifying news :) #WickedMovies." Ariana Grande (L) and Cynthia Erivo. Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty; Universal Stage Production; Rich Fury/Getty Images In November 2021, Erivo, 35, and Grande, 28, were cast as the leads, Elphaba and Glinda, respectively. Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth originated the roles on Broadway. On the 2022 SAG Awards red carpet earlier this year, Erivo revealed that the movie adaptation of Wicked will be slightly different from the original. "I think it's going to be unlike anything you've ever seen before," she told Entertainment Tonight. "I think we're going to enjoy the magic of it. We're going to try and put our own spin on what we know already and show you a story about two women [who] are sisters."