Ashanti, Tarantino Off to See Muppets in 'Oz'

Luke

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Ashanti, Tarantino Off to See Muppets in 'Oz'

By Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - R&B singer Ashanti and director Quentin Tarantino are set to star in ABC's original movie tentatively titled "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz."

Queen Latifah, meanwhile, is in final negotiations to appear in the Muppet take on the classic L. Frank Baum novel.

Ashanti plays aspiring performer Dorothy Gale, who works at the diner of her Auntie Em (Latifah) in a small Kansas town while dreaming of hitting the big time.

One day, a tornado sweeps up the trailer where Dorothy lives, and she finds herself in a Muppet version of Oz. There, she meets the Munchkins (played by the Muppet rats), the Scarecrow (Kermit the Frog), the Tin Man (Gonzo) and the Lion (Fozzie).

The group's quest to get the Wicked Witch (Miss Piggy) culminates with a fight scene between Dorothy and the witch.

As the action is about to begin, the film cuts to Tarantino pitching to Kermit how the scene should be done -- a cameo written specifically for the "Kill Bill" director.

Kirk R. Thatcher, who directed NBC's successful "Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie" in 2002, is on board to shoot the film, which will air as part of the Wonderful World of Disney franchise. It will feature several music numbers but will not be a musical.

The Jim Henson Co., the creator of the "Muppets," began development on the film with ABC before the network's Disney parent bought Henson's "Muppets" and "Bear in the Big Blue House" properties in February.

Ashanti will next be seen in Paramount's "Coach Carter," starring Samuel L. Jackson. Queen Latifah, who received an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in the musical "Chicago," was most recently seen in "Barbershop 2: Back in Business." Her upcoming movies include "Taxi," "Beauty Shop" and "The Cookout."

Tarantino's acting credits include a guest arc on ABC's "Alias," as well as the 1995 feature "Destiny Turns on the Radio."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=televisionNews&storyID=6051105
 

Hat Sharpener

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While there are a million comments to be made on this, I will just say that it's nice to see Jim Hill on top of all things Muppet as usual... oh wait...
 

Drtooth

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Ashanti? As Dorothy? Boy... Have I bet on the wrong horse.

And what, just what will Q.T. be doing in it?

This project is starting to get... let's say...interresting.
 

beaker

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QT! QT! QT! Perhaps Disney does have some edge left...wow, that is very very good news. Can anyone tell us if this production will try to be somewhat of the edgy flavor hinted at in AVMMCM?
 

BlueFrackle

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I should think so Cory, Kirk Thatcher and Brian Henson are doingn this one, And they did Its A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie too.


Oh, and can someone shut DeanMo up?
 

Dr. Bombay

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I think it sounds pretty cool myself! I'm just hoping Pepe is involved in this somehow :rolleyes:

And considering that there will be a scene showing QT directing Kermit I hope that they have Piggy be really ticked that she was cast as the witch and not Dorothy.
 

beaker

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BlueFrackle said:
I should think so Cory, Kirk Thatcher and Brian Henson are doingn this one, And they did Its A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie too.
Well, with VMC they didn't get any real 'hip' cameos...so at least they are making an effort by getting visceral indie film stalwart Tarantino on board.
Personally, I think just to mix it up even more they should get Busta Rhymes, Marilyn Manson, and Eminem...I mean, they gotta add some sort of street cred to this thing.
 

Rowlf's Roadie

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1) Marilyn Manson and Eminem with the Muppets. You're kidding, right? Sorry, but Alice Cooper is as "out there" as the Muppets will get as long as I'm a fan.

2) I can't wait to see Miss Piggy's reaction to bursting into flames.

3) According to IMDb, Ashanti's in two films to be released this year. We'll see how she does there.
 

beaker

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Rowlf's Roadie said:
1) Marilyn Manson and Eminem with the Muppets. You're kidding, right? Sorry, but Alice Cooper is as "out there" as the Muppets will get as long as I'm a fan.
What about Snoop Dogg or Charles Grodin? :wink:
I'm actually more offput by Mrs. Bush on Sesame Street than I am by any rock stars.
 

McFraggle

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Charles Grodin would be neat. Q.T. sounds fun as well. Ashanti as Dorothy, oh well. :rolleyes:
 
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