Florence Kasumba as the Wicked Witch of the East in NBC's "Emerald City" (Click for Enlarged View)
NBC has given a 10-episode straight-to-series order for "Emerald City," a reimagining of the classic Frank L. Baum books that have inspired everything from "The Wizard Of Oz" to "Wicked."
Based on the 14-book series that first created the Land of Oz, "Emerald City" is described as a dramatic and modern retelling of the tales that include lethal warriors, competing kingdoms, and the infamous wizard as we've never seen him before. A head-strong 20-year-old Dorothy Gale is unwittingly sent on an eye-opening journey that thrusts her into the center of an epic and bloody battle for the control of Oz.
Writer Matt Arnold and Josh Friedman will serve as executive producers. Universal Television is the production company.
The series was actually ordered 2 years ago, and is now finally becoming a TV reality.
The cast includes Adria Arjona as Dorothy Gale; Ana Ularu as West; Gerran Howell as Jack; Joely Richardson as Glinda; Jordan Loughran as Tip; Mido Hamada as Eamonn; Oliver Jackson Cohen as Lucas a.k.a The Scarecrow; Vincent D'Onofrio as The Wizard of Oz; and Florence Kasumba as the Wicked Witch of the East.
Kasumba became a social media sensation this week thanks to her brief appearance in "Captain America: Civil War" playing a Dora Milaje (a.k.a. the Adored Ones) - the Wakandan women who serve as Black Panther’s bodyguards (see the image below from the scene in which she appears).
"Captain America: Civil War"
Of course fanboys/girls are now wondering whether Kasumba's character is actually going to be more significant in the Marvel universe down the road - specifically, in the upcoming Black Panther movie, playing a key character that will be revealed eventually.
The German actress of Ugandan descent will also be seen in the upcoming "Wonder Woman" movie. She lives primarily in Berlin, but has done work on multiple continents. Something tells that, given audience reactions to her commanding moments in "Captain America" and a more prominent role in "Emerald City," Ms Kasumba might be on the verge of becoming a Hollywood favorite!
NBC has released more photos from "Emerald City," teasing a whole different take on the material. Of most interest to us is the above image of Kasumba in costume/character as the Wicked Witch of the East.
With Tarsem Singh directing the series, it should, at the very least, be visually stunning. And maybe the above image is an indication of that.
NBC has yet to set a premiere date for the series.