Reports have it the highly anticipated remake of the classic Diana Ross musical film ‘The Wiz’ (a Motown-inspired twist on Judy Garland‘s ‘The Wizard of Oz’) just added entertainment royalty to its cast via Queen of Hip Hop Soul Mary J. Blige and Queen Latifah.
Set to air December 3rd on NBC, the live musical adaptation will see the divas take on two of the flick’s most beloved characters – The Wizard and the Wicked Witch of the West.
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NBC has signed two big stars for The Wiz: Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige have joined the network’s latest live musical adaptation. EW has exclusively learned Latifah will play the titular Wiz, who holds the keys to the Emerald City, while Blige is set to play the Wicked Witch of the West [Evilene]. (source)
Fans of divas know they are no strangers to musicals. In addition to her role in 2002’s ‘Chicago’ earning her an Academy Award-nomination, Latifah also earned critical acclaim for her performance in 2007’s ‘Hairspray.’ Blige, a 9x Grammy winner, also starred in the Tom Cruise-led musical ‘Rock of Ages.’
Their casting follows reports singer Stephanie Mills – who portrayed Dorothy in the original stage production of ‘The Wiz,’ will portray Auntie Em in NBC’s adaptation. The role of Dorothy for the live musical, on the other hand, remains untapped. Grammy winner singer/actress Brandy – currently winning rave reviews on Broadway for her performance as Roxie Hart in ‘Chicago’ – has expressed great interest in the part.