[All photos courtesy of Emerald City Facebook page]
Emerald City, a spinoff of The Wizard of Oz, promises to show “the fabled Land of Oz in a way you’ve never seen before,” according to showrunner David Schulner. True to word, the trailer definitely showcases some new steampunk, tribal, and modern elements while still throwing in the classic yellow brick road and magical tornado. There’s even a canine companion named Toto, though he is a police K-9 now instead of a scruffy Terrier. Another element that’s different: the famed ruby slippers. Adria Arjona, who plays the newest Dorothy, hinted to Entertainment Weekly at San Diego Comic-Con that a different part of her wardrobe will be ruby red instead.
Emerald City adds a much sexier, more adult feel to the fantasy story of Oz while still incorporating the magic of the original. The witches all have glamorous and powerful new looks befitting their personalities, and “brainless” scarecrow has been replaced by the hunky Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and he seems to develop some steamy feelings for Dorothy. Check it out in the trailer below.
The story seems to take on a life of its own, separate from all of its predecessors. While versions like 1978’s The Wiz and the 1985 Return to Oz certainly took liberties with their retellings, Emerald City has a very different feel from the Oz we know. The transition from snowy to dusty landscapes, the intermingling of science and mysticism, the updated Kansas life meeting the war torn fantasy land all tell a much deeper narrative. The more I watch the trailer, the more I think I’m going to love this show!
The series is directed by Tarsem Singh (Immortals, The Cell) and is a darker re-imagining of L. Frank Baum’s series of Oz books. David Schulner replaced Josh Friedman as showrunner, and Shaun Cassidy and Matthew Arnold are listed as executive producers.
Emerald City will premiere on Friday, January 6, 2017 at 9/8c on NBC. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and check out the Emerald City site. Be sure to check back here for recaps and analysis!