L. Frank Baum‘s fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has proven a malleable property over the years. Of course everybody knows and loves Victor Fleming’s 1939 film adaptation, then came the urban-set musical revision The Wiz, the villain’s-eye-view retelling Wicked, Sam Raimi’s limp-noodle Oz the Great and Powerful, NBC’s crazytown new gritty-reboot series Emerald City, not to mention the dozens of films that have paid homage to the timeless scenes of Fleming’s film. (The bit in O Brother, Where Art Thou? when our heroes sneak into a KKK meeting like it’s a Winkie stronghold is a particular standout.) And today brings the news that the merry old land of Oz will get yet another new spin, and this time, there will be blood.
Enough Wizard of Oz adaptations have been floated over the past few years that it’s amazing even one made it term, but the awe doesn’t stop there. Behold, NBC’s ultra-ultra-ultra-gritty take on the classic L. Frank Baum tale, as Dorothy crashes into Emerald City in a first trailer.
A step above the sought-after Maltese Falcon and the fabled Ark of the Covenant, Dorothy Gale’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz have to be the single most vital prop in cinematic history. The red-sequined shoes, so lusted after by the Wicked Witch of the West in the immortal 1939 fantasy film, have spent the last 30 years as one of the Smithsonian's most popular attractions. But not even magical footwear is immune to the ravages of time, and Judy Garland’s old kicks have lost a bit of their luster. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the iconic slippers have faded from their original Technicolor ruby to something closer to “a dull auburn.”
It’s taken far longer than a trip over the rainbow to finally get NBC Wizard of Oz reboot Emerald City clicking its heels, but even without a formal premiere date, the first official photos of the Tarsem Singh-directed series have arrived. Meet your post-apocalyptic Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow and even one fabulous-looking witch in a first look at Emerald City!
In the event that you’ve got 100 free minutes in the middle of your work day, take the time to watch Of Oz the Wizard, Matt Bucy’s feature-length re-edit of The Wizard of Oz that organizes every word spoken aloud in the 1939 classic into alphabetical order. Even if you don’t, create 100 free minutes. Lie to your boss. Fake a stroke. Claim you’ve got Midwinter Madness. It will be worth it.
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.