Universal Pictures Unveils Star-Studded Lineup for 2024, Including Big Screen Adaptation of ‘Wicked’


In the wake of a groundbreaking year in 2023, where they won Best Picture and topped the box office, Universal Pictures is eyeing the horizon with anticipation. Look forward to a big screen adaptation of the Broadway hit, “Wicked,” alongside tantalizing features like “Twisters,” and a much-anticipated sequel to the cult-favorite, “Five Nights at Freddy’s.”

Star power was on full display as Universal presented a sampling of its top-notch cast, featuring the likes of Ariana Grande, Michelle Yeoh, Jeff Goldblum, and Daisy Edgar Jones, among others. They graced the stage at CinemaCon in Las Vegas with their striking charm and charisma to rev up the audience of theater owners and exhibitors, stoking the anticipation for the cinematic marvels to unfold.

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The effervescent Ariana Grande echoed the sentiment succinctly, expressing the sheer joy of participating in such grand narratives. “This whole experience is absolutely impossible to put into words,” she remarked, sharing the excitement of the upcoming Thanksgiving release alongside Cynthia Erivo.

The ever-charismatic Jeff Goldblum, discussing his role in “Wicked” where he plays the enigmatic man behind the curtain, shared that, despite his well-decorated acting career, his involvement in this project possesses an unique allure unlike any other.

Part one of the mission to bring “Wicked” to life on the silver screen appears on November 25, with part two coming in 2025. Directed by the acclaimed Jon M. Chu, it promises a cast brimming with talent, including Ariana Grande, Cynthia Erivo, and Michelle Yeoh. Not to mention Peter Dinklage recently coming aboard as Dr. Dillamond, a history professor with a peculiar penchant for goatdom.

“Twisters,” set to arrive in theaters July 19, promises action and adrenaline. Accompanied by new footage that had audiences on the edge of their seats, Glen Powell promised that the storm-laden film would provide a thrilling jaunt through tempest and suspense.

Universal reigned supreme as the highest-grossing studio in 2023, hitting nearly $5 billion in ticket sales, thanks to an array of successful releases. For the first time since 2015, Universal took the limelight from Disney, setting a triumphant precedent for the years to come.

Universal’s head of distribution, Jim Orr, echoed the sentiments of this success, “Audiences are sending us a very clear message: They’ve fired off a bright green flare telling us they’re ready for something new. We released more movies in theaters than any other studios.”

In 2024, Universal plans to keep the ball rolling with more than 20 films lined up for theatrical release. These include animated sequels, sophisticated thrillers, and horrifying tales set to enthrall audiences of all genres.

Universal also has marked interest in the animated film industry. As a testament to their dedication, Chris Meledandri, the founder, and CEO of Illumination, spoke about the upcoming “Despicable Me 4” and a new Mario movie, unveiling his studio’s unwavering commitment to creating original animated stories.

Universal’s independent arm, Focus Features, also gave us a sneak peek into their upcoming line-up, with films like Amy Winehouse’s biopic “Back to Black” and Robert Eggers’ “Nosferatu” all set to hit the screens in the coming months.

Universal Pictures has left an undeniable mark on the cinematic sphere, and its future endeavors promise no less. With promising new releases on the horizon and a dedicated commitment to bringing unique narratives to life, it’s clear that Universal aims to keep the audience engaged and eager, one extraordinary film at a time.