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Who Should They Cast in the Live Version of The Wiz on NBC?

NBC just announced that they will be bringing a live action version of The Wiz to TV screens near us on December 3. Then the show will be revived on Broadway in 2016 in partnership with Cirque du Soleil. YESSSSSS!!! This news made me hit a jig.

The original film version from 1978 starred Diana Ross (Dorothy), Michael Jackson (Scarecrow), Nipsey Russell (Tin Man), Ted Ross (Cowardly Lion), Lena Horne (Glinda) and Richard Pryor (The Wiz). EPIC!

The Wiz

So what if they mess this up? You know there’s a good possibility that they don’t do this justice. LAWD. We need to take certain things into our own hands to there’s minimal mess ups, at least on the cast side. My girl Shameeka Ayers (aka The Broke Socialite) kicked this off in Facebook and we had a GOOD ol’ thread with our different picks. Read the thread so you can cackle because Team No Chill was in full effect.

I think the essentials need to be able to sing so here’s my choices:

* DorothyJanelle Monae or Anika Noni Rose or Keke Palmer. You can’t lose with any of these choices. They can all sing, they’re adorable and I can definitely see them as Dorothy.

* Cowardly LionRuben Studdard. Come on. This just makes sense.

* ScarecrowUsher. You KNOW you see it.

* Tin ManJohnny Gill. I saw him in December wearing a shiny denim suit and a turtleneck. I feel like he could play the part on the strength of that alone. I do feel like the Tin Man needs to be someone who is perpetually ashy. They need to look like they haven’t touched lotion in a good 15 years. That could be Jodeci but I already have another role in mind for them.

* Glinda the Good Witch – Patti LaBelle. I just want her to come through and flap them wings while rocking a #Sequence cape. YESSSS! Audra McDonald would be awesome too.

* Evilene the Wicked WitchVanessa Williams. Or maybe even Fantasia. I could see her SQUALL for life as that.

* The WizPrince is the perfect choice. He’s gonna show up on set and they gon be all “I see you came dressed for shooting.” And he’ll be all: “What do you mean?” Yes, this is just right.

* Munchkins and Lollipop Guild Posse – Kevin Hart is their President. But if we’re requiring the non-essentials to be able to sing as least a little bit, go find Bobby Valentino. I don’t think he’s that busy nowadays. We can also have Ray-J and Ludacris.

* Flying monkeys – Jodeci. It’s for the best.

WHEW! MY BODY IS READY! So who would y’all cast? Who do you wanna see in this live version of The Wiz? Drop your comments!

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75 Comments

  1. Joan C.
    March 30, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    I’m voting for Wayne Brady as the Scarecrow!

  2. Mia
    March 30, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Patti LaBelle should be Ms. One

  3. Autumn
    March 30, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    Well.. The Wiz should be Shondra Rhimes because she be running ish. I see Pharell as the tin man because he is thin in both voice and demeanor. And I vote for Robin Thicke for the lion because he had that cowardly thing down and no one seems to notice that he’s not black.

    • be thirty-eight
      March 31, 2015 at 9:58 am

      lol.

    • March 31, 2015 at 10:42 am

      Very good idea @shonda and weakkkk @robinthicke cause no one notices that he’s not black

  4. Kathryn
    March 30, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Zendaya will be Dorothy mark my words. I also believe in NBC will be attempting to add some sort of hip hop component so Big Sean for Tin Man.

    • March 31, 2015 at 9:56 am

      As soon as I heard the news, the first thing that came to mind was ‘Zendaya bout to be Dorothy’. If anything, she will be in this musical.

  5. March 30, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    OMG. Revival on Broadway…take my money now.

    As for the cast, I’ve thought about this probably too much, but I’d love new talent, but in case they go for established names: Usher/Tin Man, Queen Latifah/Evaline, Cedric Entertainer/Lion, Chris Brown/Scarecrow, Zendaya/Dorothy. I know they’d never cast Chris Brown, but I do think the Scarecrow needs to be like “loose-bones” Chris Breezy…

    • nmfedrick
      March 30, 2015 at 11:10 pm

      Boys 2 Men as the Flying Monkeys? Or BBD? IJS

    • detroit skater
      March 31, 2015 at 8:28 am

      chris brown was my first thought for the scarecrow as well. he won’t get it, but he’d make a damn good scarecrow.

    • Ronda
      March 31, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Chris Brown is still doing community service.

      • Yvette Mc
        April 1, 2015 at 12:39 am

        This made me LOL and then I had to go back to ol girl’s IG post and laughed even harder!!!

    • Michelle
      March 31, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      Your profile pic give me all the life I will evah need. The Boss!

  6. March 30, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    I want Jill Scott as Ms. One!

  7. Ebony
    March 30, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    I just threw my dream cast out into the twitterverse as you posted this:
    @JordinSparks/Dorothy
    @TitussBurgess/Lion
    @JussieSmollett/Scarecrow
    @iamjamiefoxx/Tinman
    @MsPattiPatti/Evilene
    @kerrywashington/Glinda
    @AudraEqualityMc/Aunt Em
    @davidalangrier/The Wiz

  8. Karema
    March 30, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    My perfect cast would be:
    Scarecrow- Chris Brown
    Lion- James Monroe Iglehart (look him up)
    Tin Man- Wayne Brady
    Dorothy- KeKe Palmer
    Evaline- Jennifer Hudson
    Glenda the good witch- Beyoncé
    Ms.One – Phylicia Rashaad
    Auntie Em- Stephanie Mills
    Munchkins- I agree with Kevin Hart LOL
    Flying Monkeys- Jabberwockys
    The Wiz – Chris Rock

    • Cateleya
      March 30, 2015 at 11:15 pm

      YASSSSSSSSSSS!

    • Mike
      March 30, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      Reverse Beyonce and Jennifer and then it makes sense

  9. Cateleya
    March 30, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Jodeci as the flying monkeys? Omg LUVVIE I’m lucky I’m not in class right now cuz you’d get me kicked out for crying to the blue corn moon. I’m dying now and my mama will send you the bill for my funeral service.

  10. Robert
    March 31, 2015 at 12:15 am

    Dorothy Gale- Ciara, Glinda the Good witch- Halle Berry, Tin Man- Usher, Scarecrow- Chris Brown, Oz- Mike Epps, Wicked Witch of the West- Tyler Perry, Cowardly Lion- Cedric the Entertainer, Good Witch of the North- Phylicia Rashād and all the flying monkeys should be played by Rick Ross.

  11. Absurdist
    March 31, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Luvvie: if you’re talking about Diana Ross, you’re talking about the film version. The Broadway version (from 1975) is where Phylicia Rashad met her first husband, Victor Willis of The Village People. It’s also the first musical (the second being the original production of Dreamgirls) where Phylicia told of the director and quit on the spot. So the original Dorothy was the then-age-appropriate Stephanie Mills, not the horribly miscast Diana Ross. I’m not so sure that Queen Latifah could stand up well next to Mabel King (of the film AND Broadway). Eviline needs a serious set of gospel pipes, which cuts out Vanessa Williams, though she would bring something interesting to the character. Maybe Jevetta Steele (since you’re sniffing around Minneapolic for Prince anyway)?

    I’m actually down with either Anika or Janelle as Dorothy; both have Broadway chops, though Monae is closer to age-appropriate for the role.

    In fact, Dee Dee Bridgewater (the original Glinda) isn’t dead, and Phylicia was her understudy through most of the run. In the interest of family connection, I’d recommend Condola Rashad as one of the Munchkins.

    Also, Andre DeShields (the original Wiz) isn’t dead, either. We haven’t seen Hinton Battle (the original Scarecrow) since the film version of Dreamgirls, have we?

    • March 31, 2015 at 1:16 am

      Yes, I was talmbout the original film version.

    • Lenore312
      March 31, 2015 at 6:47 am

      THANK YOU Absurdist!
      I know I know everyone grew up on the movie version of The Wiz but the Original is the Broadway version. It is amazing. It was first and that is what they are revamping not the film.
      I worry the “we” are going to trash it because so many black people (and any others that don’t know it was originally a stage play) will say it’s bad or “wrong” because it doesn’t match the movie.
      The play is magnificent and I hope they do it justice.

      • Absurdist
        March 31, 2015 at 11:40 am

        You’re more than welcome. I tend to be a stickler, sometimes in annoying ways.

        • Jen Jen
          April 1, 2015 at 12:40 pm

          Thank you! Thank you! I’m also really SCARED about this remake because Harvey Fierstein has been tasked to “rework” the book and score. This isn’t going to be the movie version of The Wiz, and it may not be the original musical version either.

    • Anne
      April 3, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      I think this will definitely be closer to the stage version based on what NBC has been doing.

  12. Lola
    March 31, 2015 at 1:50 am

    The great Ben Vereen (tons of things), Jesse L. Martin (from Rent), Corey Reynolds (also Rent)

    • Milaxx
      March 31, 2015 at 8:19 am

      Are they remaking the play or the movie?
      Jesse L Martin singing “slide some oil to me” would make my day!

      • TheItGyrl
        March 31, 2015 at 11:41 am

        OMG Yes! Lord, I feel that in my Spirit!

      • Absurdist
        March 31, 2015 at 11:42 am

        Definitely the play.

  13. March 31, 2015 at 4:20 am

    very good post ,Yepi

  14. Kenya
    March 31, 2015 at 7:32 am

    I vote Stephanie Mills as Auntie Em. I also would love to see Savion Glover as the Scarecrow, Dule Hill as the Tin Man and Ruben Studdard as the Lion!

    My vote goes to Audra as Evaline and Anika as Glinda…if not I’m on team Jill for Evaline and Tamia as Glinda.

    I’m still looking for an Dorothy but right now I’m leaning toward Amber Riley.

    • Maria Holt
      March 31, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      OMG! Amber Riley as Dorothy would just shatter all kinds of stereotypes! Love the idea, but they can’t think/move too far out of the box-because: Profit.

  15. DCFem
    March 31, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Was about to cosign your suggestion of Prince as The Wiz as that would be epic. But somebody else suggested Chris Rock and I can totally see that.

    Is Jennifer Hudson too old to be Dorothy? I think she’d be good. And Tichina Arnold IS Eveline.

    • Kenya
      March 31, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Chris Rock can’t sing. This is a musical though I know he would be good in a remake of the movie! I’m digging the hell out of Tichina as Evaline! Excellent call!

      • notconvincedgranny
        March 31, 2015 at 1:38 pm

        Nipsey Russell couldn’t sing either…

  16. milaxx
    March 31, 2015 at 8:17 am

    No offense to the Bey hive, but I know who I don’t want is Beyonce is any part of this. It will become the Beyonce show and I’m not here for that.
    I’d like Janelle Monae as Dorothy
    Audra MacDonald as the Good Witch
    Wayne Brady as Cowardly Lion
    Prince as The Wiz
    Kevin Hart as a Flying Monkey or Lollipop Guild
    Lil Wayne would make a great Flying Monkey as well.
    Usher as the Tin Man
    Drake as the Scare Crow
    Taraji P. Henson as the Wicked Witch or for singing Patti LaBelle

    • Michelle
      March 31, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      And let the church say Amen! Also, keep Jennifer Hudson and Bey apart. I don’t have the patience to watch that train wreck a second time.

  17. R from FL
    March 31, 2015 at 9:24 am

    I really don’t care who stars in it but being a former dancer, they better have Fatima choreograph EAZE ON DOWN THE ROAD!!!! The best musical number in the movie!!!!

    https://youtu.be/oGxBx8RzzrM

    • Roxy J
      March 31, 2015 at 10:53 am

      Def need Fatima on this!

  18. cemone
    March 31, 2015 at 9:59 am

    If we’re talking about someone who could follow Michael Jackson — who was absolutely perfect in that role- I think Neyo or Chris Brown would be really great.

  19. Sabrina
    March 31, 2015 at 10:07 am

    I’m so excited for the production, especially with Cirque attached to it. https://vimeo.com/114706488

  20. Serenity
    March 31, 2015 at 10:24 am

    How about leaving the Wiz alone…..

    Diana Ross really needs to be in it since she is the only living person around now and she would make a good witch good or bad….

  21. RaeJ
    March 31, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Jodeci as flying monkeys?!?!?! I am done! I’m so glad no students are in my room right now. I just snorted…full on pig snort!

  22. QuitaP
    March 31, 2015 at 10:34 am

    First things first, this production needs to move to ABC so that Shonda came slay on it!

    Everyone’s choices were so good, so most of mine piggyback on theirs.

    Dorothy: Amber Riley or Janelle Monae
    Scarecrow: Chris Brown or Drake
    Tin Man: Jesse L. Martin
    Cowardly Lion: James Monroe Iglehart or Tyler Perry
    The Wiz: Prince, but I could see Drake doing it too.
    Good Witch: Audra McDonald, Anika Nona Rose, Patti LaBelle
    Evaline: Queen Latifah

  23. ts
    March 31, 2015 at 10:55 am

    ive always said chris brown would make an awesome scarecrow. he has the wiry frame and everything. love him or hate him, he would own that role.

  24. Jarima
    March 31, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Dorothy: Keke Palmer
    Scarecrow: Jussie Smollett
    Lion: Ruben Studdard
    Tin Man: Drake
    The Crows: Kevin Hart, Mike Epps, Katt Williams, and Chris Rock
    Auntie Em: Cicely Tyson
    Evaline: Patti LaBelle
    Glinda: Audra McDonald
    The Wiz: Wayne Brady
    *bangs gavel* It is law

  25. MissTish
    March 31, 2015 at 11:23 am

    As probably the only person on here who saw the original Wiz on Broadway (with 17yo Stephanie Mills as Dorothy), my decisions are final:
    ▪Anika Noni Rose as Dorothy (whoever gets the role had to look youthful AND be able to “sang” “Home”, not fake-scream it (sorry, Beyoncé).
    ▪Jennifer Lewis as Auntie Em, just because
    ▪Patty LaBelle or Jennifer Hudson as Glenda
    ▪Fantasia as Evilene would be hilarious, but I think Jennifer-Original-Effie Holiday would also be amazing.
    ▪Breezy would make an awesome Scarecrow, but he doesn’t strike me as stable/dependable, hire him a sitter and keep Usher on deck.
    ▪Wayne Brady as Tinman, because he can sing/dance/act, and his comedic timing is everything.
    ▪I would have loved to have Heavy D as the Cowardly Lion (moment of silence)
    ▪Jodeci as the Flying Monkeys is wrong, un-Christian and perfect.
    ▪the Jabberwockies would make perfect crows
    ▪Throw Columbus Short and Kat Williams into the Lollipop Guild. Kat can wear his pimp suit from Friday to cut down costs.
    ▪Terrence Howard as the Wiz, because he’s a shifty-looking Negro.
    IF SOMEONE ALLOWS BEYONCÉ TO BULLY HER WAY INTO THE ROLE OF DOROTHY, I PROMISE I’M GON’ SHOOT UP THE STUDIO.

    • Kenyatta
      March 31, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      AAAAAALLLLLLLL of this yes maam!! Long distance high five. I bet not see Beynonce (spelled just like that) skippin down nobodys yellow brick road in a damn onsie.

      • hellnawwwww
        April 3, 2015 at 3:24 pm

        No ma’am! I am not here for it. Why you ha to ha me rollin round the flo like i’ain’t got no types of common cents (yeah, I said it). You tryin ta ha me fired and I’m just not having it!!! STAAAPHHH!!

    • Anne
      April 3, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      Not the only. I too saw the original with Ms. Mills and want the stage version which I don’t believe has ever been revived and I’ve been looking for it to for YEARS!

  26. MissTish
    March 31, 2015 at 11:37 am

    YAAAAZZZZ to the rest of my old-school who remembers the original (and BEST) Wiz!

  27. TheItGyrl
    March 31, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Jodeci as the Flying Monkeys did me IN!

    Side-note, I see JHud’s name being tossed about. PLEASE miss me with that. Her hollering gets on my reserve nerve. She could out-holler a newborn baby at 3,000 feet. Tone it down, ma’am!

  28. BrujaBuena
    March 31, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Gregory Porter would be an awesome Cowardly Lion.

  29. maraya
    March 31, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    YAAAAAAAAAAASSS! is all i can say. I’ve been saying we need a remake for years. I did not see this original on Broadway that some are speaking of (I will be googling it soon), but if it’s anything like the movie I’m sure my girls and I will enjoy. My cast?
    Dorothy – Brandy
    Scarecrow – Chris Brown (like she said, not dependable but def the obvious choice)
    Lion – Ruben Studdard makes sense
    Tinman – Jamie Foxx/Jussie Smollett
    Glinda – Kerry Washington (for sure, she just has that white hat thing goin already)
    Oh and The Wiz – Terrence Howard (no bigger pimp than Luscious)
    All I know is, I can’t wait!

  30. Brandy Raydeeo Holmes
    March 31, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Jussie Smollet: scarecrow
    Porsha Stewart: Dorthy
    Faizon Love: Lion
    John Witherspoon: Tin Man

    • Michelle
      March 31, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Hold up. You did not just say Porsha Stewart as Dorothy? Insert the long side eye at any point.

    • yvette Mc
      April 1, 2015 at 12:54 am

      Wayment!! Hold Up!! I know you aren’t talking about RHOA Porsha…

      I think she is missing 2 of the main requirements – Talent and TALENT!!!

      LMAO

  31. Kenya
    March 31, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    ive been thinking bout this damn casting thing all day and I’m back with another suggestion…

    LES TWINS as the other two dancing scarecrows!

  32. Larissa
    March 31, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Can we please find a spot for Deon Cole? He is hilarious, and his crazy eyes in Blackish are the best! Maybe Scarecrow?

  33. Lynn
    March 31, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    They will be doing a Live version of the PLAY. Not the movie. And it would be nice, no, not nice- GREAT and absolutely appropriate and RIGHT for them to actually hire ACTORS who sing and not just a bunch of Pop/R&B singers (all talented in their own right). As much as there are songs, there is a STORY a fantastical, magical story that requires good enough actors to make you buy into that magical world. But alas, we will be suffocated by pop stars and rappers and the acting will inevitably suffer. They should just skip this part and do a Broadway revival. Also..no one is talking about the fact that they have given Harvey Firestein the job of “adding” to it. WHY?!?! why would you do that?!? LAWD have mercy…..it’s a classic. Leave it alone…did they add new songs and scenes to The Sound Of Music?? Nope. I just can’t believe that this will be some poor kids first experience of the Wiz. Wake me when it’s over…..

  34. SIPort
    March 31, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Munchkins and Lollipop Guild Posse – Kevin Hart is their President

    This just made me LMAO!

    Oh please don’t let them mess up casting.

  35. Michelle
    March 31, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Sorry everybody. While I would love to see this done right. I get the bad feeling that we are getting ready to witness another Lifetime disaster.

  36. Kanoni
    April 1, 2015 at 1:54 am

    (>^.^)> JANELLE MONAE = Dorothy <(^.^<) and give her a robo-dog!
    Chris Brown = Scarecrow
    Usher = Tin Man
    Jill Scott = Ms. One
    Patti Labelle = Glinda
    I can't think of a good lion, wiz or evaline though.

  37. Marie
    April 1, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I need Janelle Monae in this, and I’ll take her as Dorothy, but what I’d really love is to see her as the Scarecrow

  38. April 2, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    “* The Wiz – Prince is the perfect choice. He’s gonna show up on set and they gon be all “I see you came dressed for shooting.” And he’ll be all: “What do you mean?” Yes, this is just right.”

    iCackled!

  39. Pau Gasol Rules
    April 2, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    How about Quevenzhané Wallace for Dorothy?

  40. Max
    April 4, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    My pics:

    The Wiz – Al Sharpton (Cause we know he’s not all he’s cracked up to be) or for singing Charlie Wilson or for comedy Katt Williams

    Glenda – Kerry Washington (for acting) or Ce Ce Winans (for singing) or wait – Jill Scott

    Eveline – Tyler Perry as Madea playing Eveline (come on, it would be hilarious)

    Dorothy – an unknown, let her debut

    Auntie Em – Kelly Price or Jill Scott

    Cowardly Lion – Lenny Kravitz

    Tinman – D’Angelo

    Scarecrow – Jamie Foxx or Janet Jackson (sentimental choice, remembering Michael, who says it has to be a man) or Snopp Dogg

    Mayor of Munchkinland – Kevin Hart

    Flying Monkeys – Chris Tucker, Bobby Brown, R. Kelly

    • Max
      April 4, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      Add Iggy Azalea, TI, and Robin Thicke to the monkey list.

  41. Max
    April 4, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Oprah as Glenda or Eveline?

  42. Elle
    April 6, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    They already got my money. I truly hope they do this some type of justice.

    I can’t believe nobody nominated Miss Badu for Miss One. And if you haven’t heard Jazmine Sullivan singing Home, do yourself a favor and find her on Youtube. It laid me out. She was just a kid and she slayed that song, I cannot imagine what she would do now.

    Here my nominations for the soundtrack/music video:

    Aunt Em: CeCe Winans
    Dorothy: Jazmine Sullivan
    Scarecrow: Tyrese (Ginuwine can be his understudy)
    Lion: CeeLo Green
    Tin Man: John Legend
    The Wiz: Morris Day (Bruno Mars can be his understudy)
    Miss One: Erykah Badu
    Glinda: Yolanda Adams
    Evillene: Jill Scott

    Tell me you wouldn’t want that soundtrack.

    • Max
      April 7, 2015 at 8:41 am

      Elle, I’m LIVING for your choices. You win, girl, I’ll personally buy your ticket to Hollywood. Start casting.

  43. Goodi
    April 8, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    I always saw Solange as Dorothy. I don’t know why but I need it to happen/

  44. Mack
    May 27, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    I really think a whole new cast. Fresh Faces is what they should have in mind. Seriously, there is a lot of fabulous actors and fresh Talent. I think they would really would do justice if they would do that. And I hear that they are.

  45. Siobhan
    November 23, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I think Jazmine Sullivan would be a great Dorothy! It would be great to have a Dorothy who could really blow 🙂 She was amazing as a child in the role; I can only imagine what she could do with it now.

    Otherwise, I agree with Ms. Elle’s choices above–except Patti should be Glinda.