We’ve got some truly amazing casting news about ‘The Wiz LIVE!’

Last March, it was announced that The Wiz would be NBC’s next live music special. Now, after four months of waiting, it seems the Emerald City is glimmering with incredible updates.

It was announced Tuesday that both Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige will be reprising two of the musical’s most iconic roles: Queen Latifah is slated to play the all-powerful Wiz, while Mary J. Blige will be taking on the Wicked Witch of the West. Can we get a collective “WOOOOOOT”?

Executive producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (who previously produced NBC’s Sound of Music Live! in 2013) have already worked with Latifah in Chicago, Hairspray, and the TV film, Steel Magnolias.

“We are so happy reuniting with Latifah,” the production duo stated in a press release. “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”.

As for Blige, director Kenny Leon seems to be over-the-moon excited to be working with her. “I can’t wait to watch Mary bring the badness that is Evillene,” he said. “Her talent range is off the charts and I know audiences won’t be able to take their eyes off her.” Thanks for summing up all of our feelings in two concise statements, Kenny Leon!

Now, to cast the role of Dorothy…

The original 1978 film version was one of the most awesome movie musicals to date, featuring a soundtrack produced by Quincy Jones (Is “Ease on Down the Road” anyone else’s life motto?), and a cast that included Michael Jackson and THE Diana Ross. We’re so excited that this killer Wizard of Oz remake is making a comeback with an equally killer cast.

The Wiz LIVE! premiers on NBC Thursday, December 3rd. Obviously, we’ll be watching/dancing/singing along.

(Image via NBC)


The Wiz is NBC’s next live musical