NBC’s ‘Emerald City’ Adds Vincent D’Onofrio As Wizard Of Oz

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Law & Order Criminal Intent star Vincent D’Onofrio is returning to NBC, where the first six seasons of the Law & Order spin-off aired before segueing to USA Network. The actor has been cast as one of the leads in the network’s upcoming limited event series Emerald City, TVWise has learned.

D’Onofrio, who is coming off of a starring role on Netflix’s first Marvel series Daredevil, will play the infamous Wizard of Oz. The character is described as “the enigmatic leader of Emerald City” who is a man of science in a world of magic. He rules through inspiration, fear and a tenuous accord with the grand witches.

Emerald City follows 20-year-old Dorothy and her K9 police dog who are transported to another world, one far removed from our own — a mystical land of competing kingdoms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy. This is the fabled Land of Oz in a way you’ve 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.

Vincent D’Onofrio is the latest actor to board the cast of Emerald City since NBC picked up the series back in April. True Detective star Adria Arjona leads the cast as the 20 year old Dorthy Gale, while other cast members include Ana Ularu (The Borgias), Gerran Howell (Young Dracula), Jordan Loughran (Evermoor), Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Mr Selfridge) and Mido Hamada (The Dovekeepers).

In its relatively short life-span, Emerald City has certainly had something of a troubled history. The project was initially greenlit at NBC in 2014, but before production could get underway the network opted not to proceed with Emerald City the series citing creative differences with writer/showrunner/executive producer Josh Friedman. It was only after the property was redeveloped by David Schulner that NBC decided to move forward.

This new take on Emerald City – which includes numerous creative changes, most notably the addition of Dorothy’s K9 police dog – is set up at NBC’s sister studio Universal television and is being shepherded by David Schulner, who replaces Josh Friedman as writer and EP. Shaun Cassidy also serves as an executive producer on the series; while The Cell helmer Tarsem Singh has come on-board as director.