(AllHipHop News) The upcoming remake of The Wiz on NBC will have a double dose of Hip Hop royalty included in the musical's cast. Queen Latifah (Set It Off, Chicago) will play The Wiz. The Queen of Hip Hop/Soul Mary J. Blige (Prison Song, Black Nativity) will take on the role of Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West.
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“We are so happy reuniting with Latifah,” said executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (The Sound of Music Live!, Chicago). “We’ve been friends for a long time and we’ve had quite a lot of success together. To see her play the iconic role of the Wiz and make it her own is going to be one of the joys of producing this event.”
Stephanie Mills was previously announced as Auntie Em. The R&B singer portrayed Dorothy in the original Broadway production of The Wiz. Famed choreographer Fatima Robinson is also on board. Robinson is well-known for working with the late singer Aaliyah.
NBC's The Wiz is being directed by Kenny Leon (A Raisin In The Sun). Tony-winner Harvey Fierstein is providing new written material.
“I can’t wait to watch Mary bring the badness that is Evillene,” said Leon. “Her talent range is off the charts and I know audiences won’t be able to take their eyes off her.”
The Wiz starring Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige is scheduled to premiere on December 3 on NBC.