NBC Wiz Live Casting

NBC's The Wiz Casts Queen Latifah as Wizard, Mary J. Blige as Wicked Witch

A Queen shall lord over Emerald City, in NBC’s The Wiz Live!

Queen Latifah, a Grammy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award winner (and two-time Emmy nominee), will portray the titular Wiz in the network’s next live production, which will air Thursday, Dec. 3.

Latifah’s casting marks a reunion for her and executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, for whom she worked in the movie musicals Chicago and Hairspray and the TV-movie Steel Magnolias.

Meanwhile, Grammy winner Mary J. Blige has been cast as Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, who holds sway over the Winkies and the Winged Monkeys that do her bidding. Evillene captures Dorothy (not yet cast) and her friends to avenge the murder of her sister, Evvamean, and to get back the powerful silver slippers given to Dorothy by the Good Witch of the North.

EW.com first reported the above castings.

Stephanie Mills — who played Dorothy in the original Broadway production of The Wiz — was previously announced to portray Auntie Em in The Wiz Live! Additional casting news will be announced in the coming weeks.

Are you more likely to ease on down the road and watch The Wiz Live! with Latifah and Blige waiting for you?