Actress, Cumming will star in 'Oz' retelling

Zooey Deschanel (“Elf”) has been cast in the lead role of “Tin Man,” Sci Fi Channel’s Robert Halmi-produced miniseries retelling of “The Wizard of Oz.”

Deschanel will play DG, a young woman — think Dorothy — who finds herself transported from her dull life into the O.Z. (Outer Zone), a fantasy-filled world of wonder that’s also plagued by dark magic. She’ll star opposite Alan Cumming, previously cast as the Scarecrow-like character of Glitch.

The tentatively titled “Tin Man” is designed to be Sci Fi’s event production for winter 2007, along the lines of past efforts such as “The Lost Room” and “Taken” (Daily Variety, Nov. 22). Six-hour production begins lensing next month in Vancouver for a December premiere.

Deschanel’s upcoming feature projects include “Bridge to Terabithia” (opening today) and the Brad Pitt-Casey Affleck starrer “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.” She also supplies the voice of one of the penguins in the upcoming “Surf’s Up.”

Robert Halmi Sr. and Robert Halmi Jr. are exec producing via RHI Entertainment, with Nick Willing (“Alice in Wonderland”) set to helm. Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle wrote the mini and will exec produce.

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