NBC has found its wizard. Vincent D’Onofrio has been cast as the Wizard of Oz in NBC’s upcoming drama series Emerald City.
The Wizard of Oz is the enigmatic leader of Emerald City. A man of science in a world of magic, he rules through inspiration, fear and a tenuous accord with the grand witches. D’Onofrio will star alongside Adria Arjona, who was previously cast as Dorothy. Cast also includes Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Lucas, Ana Ularu as Wicked Witch of the West, Gerran Howell(Jack), Jordan Loughran (Tip) and Mido Hamada (Eamonn).
NBC resurrected Emerald City, after passing on the project in January 2014, with a straight-to-series order last spring with new writer/executive producer David Schulner attached. Shaun Cassidy has been added as an exec producer. Tarsem Singh will direct, reuniting with D’Onofrio, whom he directed on 2000’s The Cell. Universal TV is the studio.
Emerald City is described as a modern and dark reimagining of the classic tale of Oz in the vein of Game Of Thrones. Swept up into the eye of a tornado, 20-year-old Dorothy Gale (Arjona) is transported to another world — a mystical land in great peril, where an all-powerful Wizard has outlawed magic and rules over the many kingdoms. This is the fabled Land of Oz in a way you’ve never seen before — where lethal warriors roam, wicked witches plot in the shadows and a young girl from Kansas becomes the headstrong hero who holds the fate of their world in her hands.
D’Onofrio is coming off a busy summer with a starring role in Jurassic World, while also appearing as Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin in Netflix’s Daredevil, opposite Charlie Cox. He just wrapped The Magnificent Seven with Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington. Before that, he starred with Bryan Cranston and Robert Duvall in the upcoming In Dubious Battle, directed by James Franco. Next up D’Onofrio will star in the film adaption of CHiPs, alongside Michael Pena, Dax Shepard (who will direct) and Kristen Bell. He’s repped by Silver Lining Entertainment, UTA and Ken Richman at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller.