Petition to bar James Corden from Wicked film passes 50,000 signatures

A petition to block James Corden from starring in the forthcoming film adaptation of the blockbuster musical Wicked has passed 50,000 signatures.

Chart-topping pop star Ariana Grande and British Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo will appear in the movie, which fills in the backstory of The Wizard Of Oz.

However, if fans get their wish Gavin & Stacey creator Corden, 43, will not be joining them.

The actor and TV host, an accomplished stage star who had widely panned roles in film adaptations of Cats and The Prom, is the target of an online petition calling for him to be barred from Wicked.

It states: “James Corden in no way shape or form should be in or near the production of Wicked the movie. that’s pretty much it.”

On Tuesday the petition, aimed at producers Universal Studios, had attracted more than 53,000 signatures and counting.

Signatories cited reasons for adding their names including “we’ve suffered enough” and “he must be stopped”.

Corden, a household name in the US thanks to his The Late Late Show, is yet to publicly respond to the petition.

Despite the opposition for his potential Wicked casting, Corden is an accomplished star of the stage.

In 2012 he won the Tony Award for best actor in a play for One Man, Two Guvnors.

His film career includes 2019’s Cats and 2020’s The Prom.

Cats was so poorly received Andrew Lloyd Webber, who wrote the original stage production’s music, bought a dog while describing the film as “off-the-scale all wrong”.

Corden’s performance in The Prom was also widely criticised. The star, who is straight, played a gay character in what some critics said was a distasteful portrayal.

Wicked will be directed by Crazy Rich Asians filmmaker Jon M Chu.

The Broadway production debuted in 2003 and has since surpassed one billion dollars (£742 million) in revenue – only the third show to do so alongside The Phantom Of The Opera and The Lion King.