Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage; Image Group LA/ABCQueen Latifah and Mary J. Blige will star in NBC’s upcoming live musical production of The Wiz.
The network said Tuesday Latifah will play the Wiz, “the mysterious and powerful wizard who holds the keys to the Emerald City, but whose metamorphosis from ordinary to extraordinary is itself a hoax.”
Latifah has past experience with musicals, having starred in the films Chicago, for which she earned an Oscar nomination, and Hairspray.
Blige, who starred in the 2012 movie adaptation of Broadway’s Rock of Ages, will fill the role of the Wicked Witch of the West.
The Wiz Live! will air on NBC Thursday, December 3.
The Wiz initially opened on Broadway in 1975, re-imagining L. Frank Baum‘s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in an African-American context. A movie adaptation hit theaters in 1978, starring Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Lena Horne and Richard Pryor. A Broadway revival will debut during the 2016-2017 season.
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