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NBC has cast its wizard.
Following a prolonged deal-making process, Vincent D’Onofrio has been tapped to play the Wizard of Oz in Emerald City, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The 10-episode, straight-to-series drama centers on 20-year-old Dorothy Gale (True Detective’s Adria Arjona) and her K9 police dog who are transported to a mystical land of competing kingdoms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy. The series takes place in the fabled Land of Oz in a way 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.
D’Onofrio’s Wizard of Oz is described as 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.
The deal brings D’Onofrio, who returned to TV with Netflix’s Daredevil, back to NBC following his run on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The casting also reunites the actor with The Cell director Tarsem Singh, who will helm Emerald City.
The series is based on L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz book series and was originally developed for the 2013-14 season and picked up straight to series in January 2014. However, the network opted not to move forward when NBC and producers could not agree on a shared vision for the show. Producers Universal Television shopped the series to other potential networks before NBC revived the series in April with David Schulner (Dracula) and executive producer Shaun Cassidy replacing Josh Friedman and Matt Arnold.
D’Onofrio, repped by UTA, Silver Lining Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson, joins a cast that also includes Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ana Ularu as the Wicked Witch of the West, Gerran Howell, Jordan Loughran and Mido Hamada.
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