Stephanie Mills will play Auntie Em in “The Wiz Live!” on NBC. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Hark! The first news of casting for NBC’s next live-action musical has arrived.
Stephanie Mills, who played Dorothy in the 1975 Broadway production of the musical, will return as Auntie Em, according to a report by Entertainment Weekly. NBC made the announcement Monday during their upfronts presentation. The network has said that it’s looking for a newcomer to cast as Dorothy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t stop ourselves from imagining who else might be entertaining in the role.
Here’s our dream cast:
Trai Byers on “Empire,” left, and comedian Mike Epps (Chuck Hodes/Fox; Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for TwoFour54)
Lion: Mike Epps or Trai Byers
Drake giving Russell Westbrook realness at the 2014 ESPYs, left, and Nick Cannon. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images; Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Tinman: Nick Cannon or Drake
Chris Brown performs at Verizon Center, left, and Usher at the Grammys. (Kyle Gustafson for The Washington Post; Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Scarecrow: Usher or Chris Brown. This was Michael Jackson’s role in the 1978 movie-musical starring Diana Ross as Dorothy. You need a Scarecrow who’s got moves.
From left, Amandla Stenberg of “Hunger Games” fame, Willow Smith of “Whip My Hair” notoriety, Bianca Lawson (who is 36!) and Keke Palmer, who recently played Cinderella on Broadway. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP; Donald Traill/Invision/AP; Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images; Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Dorothy: Amandla Stenberg or Willow Smith, if you want to make her harder-edged and a little funkier. Or Bianca Lawson, simply because the woman refuses to age. Or Keke Palmer.
Clockwise from top left: FKA Twigs, Jennifer Hudson, Audra McDonald, Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland and Jennifer Holliday. (Matt Cowan/Getty Images; Jose Luis Magana/Reuters; Andrew Kelly/Reuters; Kevin Winter/Getty Images; Steve Marcus/Reuters; Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
And if we’re going for funky and unexpected, then let’s see FKA Twigs as Glinda the Good Witch. However, if we wanted a more traditional Glinda, there are plenty of options: Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, Jennifer Holliday, Jennifer Hudson or Audra McDonald.
YouTube and soon-to-be MTV star Todrick Hall, left, and Eddie Murphy in “Dreamgirls.” (Michael Buckner/Getty Images; David James/AP)
The Wiz: Eddie Murphy or Todrick Hall
From left, “Glee’s” Amber Riley, Frenchie Davis and Jill Scott. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Joan Marcus/Wire Image; Julio Cortez/AP)
Evillene: Amber Riley or Jill Scott or Frenchie Davis
“The Wiz Live!” will air Dec. 3 on NBC.
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