Mary J. Blige and Queen Latifah have been cast in NBC’s live version of the musical The Wiz, the network announced Tuesday. Latifah will star as the Wiz, the mysterious and powerful wizard who holds the keys to the Emerald City. Mary J. Blige will play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West.
NBC said Monday it will air a live production of the hit 1970s stage reinvention of The Wizard of Oz on Dec. 3. The network says its partner on the TV version is Cirque du Soleil’s new stage theatrical division, which will then present The Wiz on Broadway for the 2016-17 season.
At the upfronts in May, NBC’s Bob Greenblatt said the network was planning a Music Man production as its next live musical from The Sound of Music and Peter Pan executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. That project is still on track, but this morning at the TCA press tour Greenblatt said the network also has closed a rights deal for The Wizard Of Oz-themed The Wiz.