Legendary performer Vincent D’Onofrio continues to mix TV and film projects, with confirmation that he is to play the Wizard in NBC’s upcoming revitalization of L. Frank Baum’s Wizard Of Oz tales. Having dominated the Marvel show Daredevil on Netflix, as the dastardly Wilson Fisk earlier this year, the actor will step behind the curtain on Emerald City, to be directed by his The Cell filmmaker, Tarsem Singh.
This will be welcome news for the production, which already had a false start in 2014, when the network revoked a straight-to-series order for the show. The script has since been re-worked by executive producer David Schulner (The Event), and the addition of an actor of the stature of Vincent D’Onofrio will instantly generate a great deal of interest in the series when it finally comes to air.
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Adria Arjona (True Detective) will play Dorothy, while Gerran Howell (Young Dracula), Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Dracula) and Ana Ularu (A Very Unsettled Summer) fill out the rest of the cast. It is undoubtedly the reunion of D’Onofrio and director Tarsem Singh that will help to draw in audiences, however.
Singh is renowned for his very specific, bold visual style – something that could be used to great effect to bring Emerald City to life – while D’Onofrio is able to exude enough quiet, yet sinister gravitas to hold the screen for as long as necessary. We will see whether this gamble by NBC will pay off some time in 2016.