Wicked: Fans Petition Producers to Not Cast James Corden in Movie Adaptation

What role (if any) should fans (and filmgoers) play in the filmmaking process in general, and the casting one in particular?

The Late Late Show host’s ubiquity and previous misadventures in musicals such as ‘Cats’ and ‘The Prom’ have caused a backlash.

Fans are petitioning producers behind a movie adaptation of the hit musical Wicked to not cast James Corden.

The petition, posted on Change.org and addressed directly to Universal which is producing the film, has racked up over 21,000 signatures already. The petition states simply: “James Corden in no way shape or form should be in or near the production of Wicked the movie… that’s pretty much it.”

Corden was trending on social media over the weekend after major casting announcements were made for the Wicked movie with Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande playing leads Elphaba and Glinda, respectively.

The opposition to Corden stems from his ubiquity in recent stage to screen adaptations of beloved musicals, including his turn in Tom Hooper’s widely panned Cats, Ryan Murphy’s The Prom, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods and Amazon’s recently released Cinderella. 

Corden’s promo work for Cinderella, which he also co-produced, raised the ire of social media after a clip of the Brit star dressed in a rat costume thrusting his groin at unsuspecting commuters stuck in L.A. traffic went viral.

Universal’s Wicked movie has been in the works since 2004, a year after the billion-dollar grossing musical debuted on Broadway. The movie is set to be directed by In the Heights and Crazy Rich Asians filmmaker Jon M. Chu and begins production in the U.K. in June 2022.