‘Wicked’ Part 1 & ‘Gladiator II’ Deemed the New ‘Barbenheimer’ With Same Release Date

Do we have a new 'Barbeinheimer' in our midst? Fans are calling the 'Wicked' and 'Gladiator II' same-day release 'Wickediator.'

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Ariana Grande, Cynthia Erivo in Wicked; Pedro Pascal in Gladiator II
Image Credit: Universal Pictures/Youtube; Paramount Pictures/YouTube

2023 was the year of Barbie and Oppenheimer — famously known as the “Barbenheimer” movement. Now, movie fans might have a brand-new phenomenon with Wicked part 1 and Gladiator II‘s same-day release date. The Internet has already dubbed November 22 as “Wickediator,” combining both titles.

Social media users didn’t wait a beat to share their thoughts on the two films’ premiere date. Many X users (formerly known as Twitter) posted hilarious clips from Barbie, comparing Gladiator II and Wicked with the 2023 Oscar-nominated movie. Others also shared photos of potential premiere day outfits, which were combinations of pink Glinda-themed dresses with gladiator-esque armor.

The highly anticipated first part of Wicked stars Ariana Grande as Glinda and Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba, who becomes the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. The cast wrapped filming earlier this year, and it was originally scheduled to reach theaters on November 27, which is also the day that Disney’s Moana 2 comes out. However, earlier this week, it was announced that Wicked part 1 would premiere on November 22.

Being the wickedly talented artists they are, Ariana, 31, and Cynthia, 37, have expressed their excitement about starring in the film adaptation of Broadway’s hit musical. In May, the “Yes, And?” pop star appeared in a featurette for the film, in which she recalled watching the original stage production when she was a child.

“I had the incredible privilege of seeing the original Broadway cast of Wicked when I was 10, and I just felt an immediate bond,” Ariana said. “It’s always been the thing I listen to when I’m nervous, when I’m needing an escape, when I need comfort. I went in for my first audition and I remember buzzing!”

For Cynthia’s part, the Harriet actress noted that it had “been a really long journey” and added that she “never thought in [her] lifetime” that she would get the chance to play this iconic role.

As for Gladiator II, the sequel to Ridley Scott‘s 2000 film stars some of Hollywood’s biggest names: The Last of UsPedro Pascal, Aftersun‘s Paul Mescal, Academy Award winner Denzel Washington, Stranger Things’ Joseph Quinn and more.