Vincent D’Onofrio is living by a slightly-adapted entertainment mantra made famous by Mel Brooks: it’s good to be the King(pin). Enjoying a run as the main villain on Marvel’s Daredevil series (which will be airing its second season on Netflix in early 2016), the guy who apparently is so good at being bad has now turned his attention to another nefarious character: the Wizard of Oz. D’onofrio has been cast as the mostly-scary ruler in the upcoming television series Emerald City, which will likely air on NBC sometime next year.
While most folks are familiar with the more “classic” elements of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel published in 1900 – famously adapted as a 1939 film starring Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, Billie Burke, Burt Lahr, Ray Bolger, Frank Morgan, and Jack Haley – there have been a multitude of adaptations and “reimaginings” surrounding the tale of Dorothy Gale and a tornado whisking her away to the magical land of Oz. The plethora of retellings is due in no small part to the fact that the original novel (and by extension, the characters contained therein) entered the public domain in 1956.
With the news of the new TV series first coming from Deadline, here’s how the character is being described: “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.” The article goes on to describe the series as well:
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 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.
Many of the main characters have already been cast: Adria Arjona will play Dorothy, Ana Ularu will feature as The Wicked Witch of the West, Oliver Jackson-Cohen has been cast as Lucas, Gerran Howell will play a character named Jack, Jordan Loughran is Tip, and Mido Hamada is a character named Eamonn.