The Wicked trailer is finally here and no, people are not happy.

More than a decade after talks began about turning the much-loved Broadway musical Wicked into a movie, the first trailer finally dropped as a Super Bowl advert on Monday.

The musical — which stars Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande, and will be released in two parts — tells the story of the Good Witch of the North and the Wicked Witch of the West before they became these legendary characters in The Wizard of Oz.

Their story is based on the bestselling book of the same name by Gregory Maguire, and follows the pair — known in their younger days as Glinda (Grande) and Elphaba (Erivo) — as they meet as roommates at Shiz University.

Watch this first look at Wicked. Post continues after video. 

Video via Warner Bros.

The two do not like each other but throughout the story, they form an unlikely friendship and a deep bond before they go their separate ways to live up to their famous monikers.

The Broadway musical has amassed something of a cult following, having been seen (and loved) by millions since it first hit the stage in 2003, and went on to win three Tony Awards. 

Which is why we deeply regret to inform you that if you're yet to watch the first teaser trailer for Wicked, you might be sorely disappointed.


Here's what the world is saying about Wicked the movie.

What are critics saying about Wicked?

The film's trailer has already garnered 2.9 million views on YouTube since it was released internationally earlier this week. But the reception has not been as warm as hoped. 

The main bone critics have to pick? They're complaining that the trailer looks "basic", with unimpressive CGI, and lacks colour. 

"It looks very bland and flat, for a film based on a show that's so visually spectacular," one commenter told Mamamia. "Particularly on the back of the Barbie movie, which used practical special effects so cleverly. Like, they grew the actual fields of tulips for Wicked, they built an actual train for those scenes – but it all looks like bad CGI."

Movie and film trailer reviewer Adam Does Movies agreed, sharing on his YouTube channel that he felt the teaser trailer looked and felt "pretty generic... dare I say bad? Of course, it's just a teaser and the final product could be a very well-made music from the Broadway hit. 

"This first impression though of the Wicked movie is not great... I was hoping this would be something more sinister and darker... This just looks so basic. It's a first-look trailer and maybe the final product will wow me but I can't say this impressed me much."

Other long-time fans shared their dismay at what they called a "bland" colour scheme when compared to The Wizard Of Oz, which premiered in 1939.

"I think the reason why I find how the Wicked movie looks so particularly galling is that it’s set in the same universe as perhaps the most famous technicolour film of all time, which is more than 80 years old and still looks better than whatever I saw on my TV last night," one person shared on X (formerly Twitter), later highlighting that the original was the most-watched movie in cinema history. 


"More people have seen it than any other movie ever. Everyone knows what it looks like. You can’t half-ass Oz," they added.

"This isn't even me poo-poo-ing digital photography. The film vs. digital debate is often stupid to me because they’re both ultimately just tools. I've seen several digitally shot movies released in the last two years that were so vibrant. It's all in how you use them."


As well as fans criticising the aesthetic, there's been a divide regarding director Jon M. Chu's decision to split the film into two parts — with a year to wait between the first and second offerings.

Back in 2022, Chu explained he felt he had no option but to split the Wicked story. 

"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," Chu wrote

"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!!!!

"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."

While you might expect fans to applaud the move — rather than cramming it all into one film and losing vital parts of the story — many were disappointed to hear they'd have to wait even longer for their favourite musical to be adapted into a film.

Despite the disappointment over the trailer, the enthusiasm of fans who have been waiting for the film adaptation of Wicked since conversations began in 2012 hasn't been dulled. But they'll have to wait just a little longer to make a final call on the film, with the first instalment expected to premiere in December 2024 and the second to be released in 2025.

Feature Image: Warner Bros.

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