Have you seen Self/less? After that, you’d think I’d lose some faith in Tarsem Singh, but the idea of Singh directing a TV show about a dark, twisted rendition of the Land of Oz is way too intriguing. Emerald City centers on 20-year-old Dorothy Gale. She tries to break into an underground facility in the Midwest, but things don’t go according to plan. She manages to escape, stealing a police dog in the process, but her getaway route puts her right in the path of a nasty tornado. When she wakes up, she’s in Oz, but this time around, the fabled land is packed with dark magic and lethal warriors.
NBC gave Emerald City a straight-to-series 10-episode order back in January 2014 and even advertised the show that summer at Comic-Con, but then in August, news broke that the network and executive producer/writer Josh Friedman couldn’t see eye to eye and that the show would not move forward. Some suggested that Friedman might take Emerald City elsewhere, but about three months ago, a report surfaced claiming that NBC held on to the project, Friedman is out and David Schulner is the new showrunner.
That swap definitely sparked some forward momentum because look what Schooner just tweeted:
— David Schulner (@davidschulner) July 14, 2015
I’m a little hesitant to assume that the show’s a sure thing after what happened last year, but locking Singh for all 10 episodes is a pretty significant commitment. Self/less certainly didn’t wow the crowds last weekend, but considering what Singh accomplished in The Cell, The Fall, Immortals and Mirror Mirror, there’s no doubt that his visual prowess can bring a lot to this dark reimagining.
Here’s the official description of Emerald City that NBC released back in 2014:
Desperate for clues that will lead to the identity of her biological mother, a young woman breaks into a sinister underground facility somewhere in the Midwest. Unable to complete her mission and surrounded by security, our feisty heroine steals a K9 police dog and drives away into the night… and headlong into the path of a raging tornado. In the blink of an eye, she is 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 20-year-old Dorothy Gale becomes a headstrong warrior who holds the fate of kingdoms in her hands. You’re not in Kansas anymore, and this is not your Grandmother’s Oz.