Queen Latifah & Mary J. Blige Ease Into “The Wiz” Remake

1970s remakes are all the rage these days. As Questlove partakes in an upcoming Roots remake starring Laurence Fishburne, NBC has revealed plans to remake The Wiz. Originally an adaptation in its own right (of The Wizard of Oz), the 1978 film was co-produced by Berry Gordy’s Motown film division, and starred label acts such as Michael Jackson and Diana Ross, alongside Richard Pryor, Lena Horne, and Nipsey Russell.

NBC’s redo, in production 37 years later, already has reported commitments from Queen Latifah (a/k/a Dana Owens) and Mary J. Blige. M.J.B. will notably play the Wicked Witch Of The West, while Latifah will play the title character. According to Okay Player, R&B veteran Stephanie Mills is also cast in the reboot.

Blige and Queen worked together on Latifah’s Persona album. At the time of production, The Wiz was the most expensive film-musical ever made, with a reported cost of $24 million by Universal and Motown. It was Motown Productions’ final film foray of the decade, followed by 1985’s The Last Dragon.

Do you think today’s younger generation will appreciate Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tinman, and Lion?

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