Lea Michele, the "Glee" star whose Broadway credits include Spring Awakening and Les Misérables, will make her feature-film and animation voice-over debut in the animated musical feature film "Dorothy of Oz" in the lead role of Dorothy Gale.
"Dorothy of Oz" is the first in a slated series of animated feature films by Summertime Entertainment based on the writings of children's author Roger S. Baum, whose work continues the legacy of his great-grandfather L. Frank Baum, author of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" series of books.
Oscar nominee and 15-time Grammy winner Bryan Adams is currently writing the songs and lyrics for the film along with writing partner Jim Vallance. Additional songs will be written by Grammy Award-winning songwriter Tift Merritt and lyricist Mike Himelstein, and Emmy-award winning composer Jim Dooley will also contribute to the score.
The "Oz" sequel is being helmed by veteran animation producer Bonne Radford with direction by long-time Disney contributor Dan St. Pierre. The screenplay was penned by Randi Barnes, Adam Balsam and Barry Glasser. Rounding out the creative team is pop choreographer Tyce Diorio.
In addition to Michele, the film boasts an array of stars who will lend their voices to the motion picture. The new comedic book character roles of Wiser the Owl and the delicate China Princess will be respectively voiced by Oliver Platt and Broadway's Megan Hilty. British actor Hugh Dancy will play the soft-hearted and candy-coated Marshall Mallow, and Patrick Stewart will voice the humorous old soul and adventure-seeking Tugg. Emmy and Tony Award winner Martin Short will play the Jester, the new arch-nemesis of Dorothy and all of Oz; comedian/actor Jim Belushi will portray the Lion, who is reveling in his new role as guardian and protector of Oz; Academy Award-nominated Dan Aykroyd will be voicing the Scarecrow; and Emmy Award winner and current Tony nominee Kelsey Grammer rounds out the cast as the Tin Man.
A release date for the movie, which will be filmed in Stereoscopic 3D, has yet to be set, but production is scheduled to finish in late 2011.