Locals in a Buckinghamshire village that has been transformed into the Land of Oz for the Hollywood adaptation of the musical Wicked – starring Ariana Grande – are calling the set a “plague to the landscape.”
The scene, complete with the yellow brick road, was created in the middle of a farmland in the village of Ivinghoe, near Leighton Buzzard, for the new film.
A lively town with higgledy-piggledy houses with colorful thatched roofs is visible, absolutely unmissable amid vast green fields.
Towering construction, which has taken place from November, can also be seen.
But despite no written objections, some locals aren’t all that enchanted by the set – and some are calling it an “encroachment on the landscape.”
‘We’re not in Kansas anymore!’: The magical Land of Oz, complete with the yellow brick road, has sprung up in the middle of the Buckinghamshire countryside, with some locals calling it a ‘plague to the landscape’
Construction site: Towering construction is also visible on the rural set in the village of Ivinghoe, near Leighton Buzzard
New Role: The story, which is loosely based on Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz, will see Ariana Grande as Glinda the Good Witch and Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West
Six night shots are lined up and end at 3:30am, with filming on the newly erected set commencing Thursday, April 6, and continuing through August 4.
The production company is “actively exploring the opportunity to include work experience in production for media and film students” at a local school, and will also conduct “educational filmmaking seminars and workshops” at local colleges.
The film’s story, which is loosely based on Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz, will see Ariana Grande as Glinda the Good Witch and Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West.
Filming for the two-part adaptation, produced by Universal Pictures, was in full swing on Tuesday and many people were seen on set.
A vibrant yellow brick road led to the center of the field, while cranes and trucks could be seen around the set still under construction.
A planning application to transform the land into the fictional Munchkinland was submitted last year by Western Sky Limited and construction is set to begin in November.
According to the application, the majority of the sets are prefabricated at Sky Studios Elstree.
Last week, Miss Grande revealed that they were “half way through” shooting the movie and that she was “just enjoying a millisecond more” of her character.
Vibrant: The town of small higgledy-piggledy houses with colorful thatched roofs has been spotted on farmland in the village of Ivinghoe
Filming: A planning application to transform the land into the fictional Munchkinland was filed last year by Western Sky Limited and construction is set to begin in November
She said the role was “transforming and healing parts of me that I never knew needed.”
She wrote alongside a photo of her standing under a rainbow, adding, “I don’t want it to end. So while I’m still here, present, now, I just wanted to… exclaim my great [gratitude]! And let my heart overflow.
“I hope this isn’t all a dream because no matter how present I try to be, it sure feels like a dream.
“Fortunately half way through this most beautiful crew… my heart will stay here forever.”
Wicked, based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel of the same name, was first performed on Broadway in 2003 and premiered three years later at the Apollo Theater in London.
Frozen’s Idina Menzel played Elphaba in both debut productions.
Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman, who co-wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway show, will be editing the screenplay while Jon M Chu will direct.
Chu, who was behind Crazy Rich Asians, said directing the “timeless story” was akin to “being invited to Oz by the wizard himself.”
On to the wizard! A vibrant yellow brick road led to the center of the field
Despite no written objections, some locals were not so enchanted by the set, with some describing it as an ‘encroachment on the landscape’
Miss Grande posted a selection of behind-the-scenes photos with Miss Erivo, 36, in October, featuring the pair in ballet shoes — pink for Miss Grande while her co-star wore black and green as a nod to her character.
Michelle Yeoh, Jeff Goldblum and Jonathan Bailey of Bridgerton fame will also be seen in the upcoming film which will be released in two parts.
On Sunday, Ariana took to her Instagram page and revealed that filming is already “halfway done” alongside a photo of herself standing under a perfectly curved rainbow.
“I am enjoying every millisecond left with my Glinda (although she will irrevocably be with me forever). she shows me so many new things every day,” Grande, 29, wrote, with obvious excitement behind her words.
“I’m so grateful, I don’t know what to do or say… to be here in Oz where every day is a life changing life… to feel, learn and grow so much with such a disarming speed…to feel so much love around me, to start each day before the sun rises and end after it sets…” she added.
She continued, “to hold my brilliant twin flame/sister Cynthia [Erivo]’s beautiful, green hands every day… to work in the safest, most beautiful and most loving, largest-yet-most-intimate/smallest spaces… to be guided by the most thoughtful, brilliant, compassionate and warmest possible director on this planet, my other Ozian best friend ever Jon… to transform and heal parts of me I never knew needed. or maybe.’
Work: Filming for the two-part adaptation, produced by Universal Pictures, was in full swing on Tuesday, with plenty of people on set
Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Before her Wicked update, the pop star, who plays Glinda Upland (aka Good Witch Of The South), shared a photo of herself standing under a perfectly curved rainbow
Still over the moon, or the rainbow, about scoring the role of Galinda in Wicked, Grande apologized “for this most cancerous, rambunctious post. words are not enough, but I guess I just wanted to (try to) share a bit.’
The singer and actress, who began her music career at age 15 in the 2008 Broadway musical 13, confessed that she doesn’t want the experience to “stop.”
“So while I’m still here, present, now, I just wanted to… exclaim my immense gratitude! and flood my heart. I hope this isn’t all a dream because no matter how present I try to be, it sure feels like a dream,” she wrote.
The Thank U, Next star ended the post by sharing gratitude for the people she’s worked with since the shoot began on Dec. 9, 2022.
‘halfway happy with this most beautiful crew. my fellow Ozians. my heart will be stuck here forever.
Wicked is scheduled for release on November 27, 2024.