With its 75th anniversary approaching, The Wizard of Oz is hotter than ever! There are four TV adaptations in the works, including this latest one that was just announced from NBC and “Siberia” creator/showrunner Matthew Arnold, entitled “Emerald City.”
“Emerald City” joins a field of Oz-themed projects that include CBS’s “Dorothy,” a medical soap; an untitled drama making the rounds from “Heroes” alums Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster with Tim Kring supervising; and Syfy’s “Warriors of Oz,” a fantasy-action mini-series set in a post-apocalyptic future Oz exec produced and possibly directed by Timur Bekmambetov.
And that doesn’t even include the upcoming 3D re-release of the classic 1939 feature film starring Judy Garland!
But back to “Emerald City,” which Arnold is writing and executive producing through Universal Television. Per Deadline, it’s described as a dark reimagining of the classic tale in the vein of “Game of Thrones,” drawing upon stories from author Frank Baum’s original 14 books. Following the success of the 1900 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Baum wrote 13 sequel novels so there’s plenty of material. Here’s just a small sample:
In The Marvelous Land of Oz a little boy, Tip, escapes from his evil guardian, the witch Mombi, with the help of a walking wooden figure with a jack-o’-lantern head named Jack Pumpkinhead (brought to life with the magic Powder of Life Tip stole from Mombi), as well as a living Sawhorse (created from the same powder).
In The Road to Oz Dorothy meets the Shaggy Man, and while trying to find the road to Butterfield, they get lost on an enchanted road. As they travel, they meet the rainbow’s daughter, Polychrome, and a little boy, Button-Bright. They have all sorts of strange adventures on the way to Oz.
In The Patchwork Girl of Oz a Munchkin boy named Ojo must find a cure to free his Uncle Nunkie from a magical spell that has turned him into a statue. With the help of Scraps, an anthropomorphic patchwork doll, Ojo journeys through Oz to save his uncle.
In The Tin Woodman of Oz the Tin Woodman, whose real name is Nick Chopper, is unexpectedly reunited with the Munchkin Girl he had courted before he became a tin man. Sadly, she has a new love and no longer cares for him. As he attempts to regain her affection, Nick discovers a fellow tin man, Captain Fyter, as well as a Frankenstein monster-like creature, Chopfyt, made from their combined parts by the tinsmith, Ku-Klip.
Depending on how “dark” the series really does go, look for more soon.
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