Saturday, April 25, 2015

"Emerald City" Returns (aka is "un-cancelled") + A Round Up Of All the Other Oz Offerings in the Works

So, there's a new word in town: "un-cancelled", meaning a show that got canceled before it even got on the air, has been revived/given a second chance. In this case it's the previously-dead Emerald City miniseries that has just been given it's Frankenstein moment. It will (if all goes to plan this time around) be on our screens sometime soon.

As iO9 put it: "Dorothy got home easier than this show got on the air." 

Here's the description, along with character outlines, as of mid-2014, though that may change. Maybe.

In the blink of a tornado’s eye, 20-year-old Dorothy Gale and her K9 police dog 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. 
DOROTHY GALE | A natural, and not waify, beauty scarred by past experiences, Dorothy has patched a life together for herself despite the fact that she sells herself short. Outward insecurity and lack of self-awareness hide the savior survivor that she will discover she truly is. 
WEST | This 30something femme is a corruptive — and fearsome — force of nature, a drugged-out virtuoso filled with self-loathing. She's equal parts compelling and unsettling. 
NORTH | In her 30s or 40s, this Type-A manipulative perfectionist has a bit of a "big sister" relationship to West. 
HENRY | The series' male romantic lead, this handsome and well-built gent presents a seemingly open nature that belies a bit of a past. #Denry 
THE WIZARD | On the exterior, this 40something male is a charismatic and politically astute leader, earnest in his beliefs and intentions but also an "ends justify the means" sort. His showmanship however conceals a dangerous, and perhaps deadly, seriousness. 
EAMONN | The Wizard's righthand man is unquestioningly loyal. A strong, silent type. 
TIP | All of 15 and harboring a secret past, this lass is undergoing the discomfort of discovering her sexuality. 
JACK | Tip's neighbor and closest friend, an adventurous and energetic teen. 
OJO | A member of the Munja'kin, a primitive and isolated cross-pollinated culture, this stoic and fearsome man (mid-30s to early 40s) is rather unsympathetic to Dorothy's plight. 
SYLVIA | A "good mimic" is sought to play this odd, feral and haunted 10-year-old.
The projected season is 2015-2016. But don't worry. even if this Game-Of-Thrones-meets-Dorothy reboot of the Oz story doesn't take, there are five more still on the way. (Yes, you read that right: FIVE.)

Here they are, complete with their summaries/log-lines:

Warriors of Oz (from SyFy): A fantasy-action reimagining of the classic story in which a warrior from present day Earth is transported to a post-apocalyptic future Oz where he must team up with three other warriors, Heartless, Brainless, and Coward, in order to defeat the evil Wizard who has enslaved the land.”

Dorothy (CBS): A medical soap based in New York City, inspired by the characters and themes immortalized in The Wizard of Oz.”

Dorothy Must Die
(CW): Based on the best-selling book (and series) -
 A revisionist take on the classic tale set in present day, 80 years after Dorothy Gale supposedly came home. In reality, the magically-ever-youthful Dorothy has stayed in Oz, presiding over a now fascist fairyland with her perfectly manicured iron fist and the help of her henchmen – the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion.  But when another young woman from Kansas is swept up in a tornado and magically dropped into this war-torn Oz, our hero discovers a revolutionary underground of witches and enchanted beings only to learn that she is destined to lead their people in the fight to reclaim Oz from a power-hungry Dorothy’s ruthless clutches.”

Red Brick Road (Lifetime): In the classic 1939 feature, when Dorothy set off for the Emerald City, she followed the Yellow Brick Road. But among the yellow bricks at Dorothy’s feet, there was also a swirl of red bricks. They’ve been there the whole time in plain sight. Unnoticed. Unexplored. Which raises the question — just where do they go? Red Brick Road will answer that by following Dorothy down that fateful path, taking her to the oldest, darkest and most dangerous parts of Oz to find what became of her friends who all have gone missing.”

The Wiz (NBC - December 3rd, 2015): Opening in 1975, The Wiz ran for four years on Broadway and won seven Tonys, including best musical. It retells the classic story of The Wizard Of Oz in an African-American context.”
And I'm adding more info to the new The Wiz via Variety, because seriously - this is awesome: 
“The Wiz” will be co-produced by Cirque du Soleil’s new stage theatrical division. After the television event, the musical will make its Broadway revival for the 2016-17 season, also presented by Cirque du Soleil.
...Cirque’s incredible imagination will help bring the fantasy world of Oz vividly to life and give this great show a modern spin on the age-old story we all love.”
“We are delighted that NBC and Cirque du Soleil will present ‘The Wiz,’” Zeiger said. “It’s a musical I have wanted to produce for years, and it’s the perfect show to present under the new Cirque du Soleil Theatrical banner.”
I want to declare a home run on the last project, except for the slight detracting factor of the "live musical TV event" aspect (not that Cirque will disappoint but recent live TV musicals have been giving me "the cringe", unfortunately.) 

So - you up for some Oz viewing?

Note: Emerald City "Travel Posters" credits first to last in post:1. Joe Cavazos 2. Laurent Durieux 3. AllPosters (artist not credited) 4. Retro Planet USA

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