NBC’s Gritty ‘Emerald City’ Adds a Sexy Scarecrow, ‘Self/Less’ Director
It wasn’t long after Comic-Con 2014 that NBC pulled the plug on its Wizard of Oz event series Emerald City, but despite the lack of bus ads in San Diego this year, the new vision of Dorothy appears right on track over that rainbow. Not only has the “Scarecrow” been cast, but so too has Self/Less director Tarsem Singh signed on to helm all ten episodes.
Following Adria Arjona’s casting as Dorothy (don’t worry, she has a K9 police Toto as well), Deadline reports that Dracula star Oliver Jackson-Cohen will play the role of Lucas, a handsome, mysterious and quick-witted man discovered by Dorothy beaten, bloodied, and moaning on a post outside the ruins of his village. Lucas is apparently the lone survivor of a mass crucifixion (yikes), and remembers neither his past, nor his name.
In addition, Ana Ularu will play “West” (read: probably the witch) a madame and unholy ally of the Wizard, while Gerran Howell will play the brave and adventurous Jack. For those unfamiliar, NBC initially announced its Emerald City take on L. Frank Baum’s work to coincide with the classic film’s 75th anniversary, before surprisingly pulling the plug only weeks later. Following the initial “creative differences” with showrunner Josh Friedkin, Emerald City returned with a 10-episode order under The Event producer David Schulner.
So reads the full Emerald City synopsis:
In the blink of a tornado’s eye, 20-year-old Dorothy Gale and her K9 police dog are transported to another world, one far removed from our own — a mystical land of competing kingdoms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy. This is the fabled Land of Oz in a way you’ve never seen before, where wicked witches don’t stay dead for long and a young girl becomes a headstrong warrior who holds the fate of kingdoms in her hands.
As well the full roster of character descriptions:
DOROTHY GALE | A natural, and not waify, beauty scarred by past experiences, Dorothy has patched a life together for herself despite the fact that she sells herself short. Outward insecurity and lack of self-awareness hide the savior survivor that she will discover she truly is.
WEST | This 30something femme is a corruptive — and fearsome — force of nature, a drugged-out virtuoso filled with self-loathing. She’s equal parts compelling and unsettling.
NORTH | In her 30s or 40s, this Type-A manipulative perfectionist has a bit of a “big sister” relationship to West.
HENRY | The series’ male romantic lead, this handsome and well-built gent presents a seemingly open nature that belies a bit of a past. #Denry
THE WIZARD | On the exterior, this 40something male is a charismatic and politically astute leader, earnest in his beliefs and intentions but also an “ends justify the means” sort. His showmanship however conceals a dangerous, and perhaps deadly, seriousness.
EAMONN | The Wizard’s righthand man is unquestioningly loyal. A strong, silent type.
TIP | All of 15 and harboring a secret past, this lass is undergoing the discomfort of discovering her sexuality.
JACK | Tip’s neighbor and closest friend, an adventurous and energetic teen.
OJO | A member of the Munja’kin, a primitive and isolated cross-pollinated culture, this stoic and fearsome man (mid-30s to early 40s) is rather unsympathetic to Dorothy’s plight.
SYLVIA | A “good mimic” is sought to play this odd, feral and haunted 10-year-old.
We’ll all be awash in The Wizard of Oz nostalgia over the next year, including a live musical production of The Wiz, but does Emerald City sound worthwhile, to have been brought back from the NBC graveyard?