The “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” alum will play the Wizard of Oz in NBC’s drama, which takes a darker spin on the classic tale. He will co-star alongside Adria Arjona (“True Detective”), who was previously cast as Dorothy.
D’Onofrio’s Wizard of Oz is described as the enigmatic leader of Emerald City. A man of science in a world of magic, he rules through inspiration, fear and a tenuous accord with the grand witches.
After passing on the project in the 2014 development season, NBC gave a 10-episode straight-to-series order to the ambitious fantasy vehicle with “Do No Harm” creator David Schulner attached.
Shaun Cassidy (“Blue Bloods”) has been added as an exec producer, along with Schulner. Tarsem Singh will direct the Universal TV miniseries, marking a reunion with D’Onofrio, whom he directed on the 2000 Jennifer Lopez pic “The Cell.” Originally, “Emerald City” was being developed by Matthew Arnold and Josh Friedman.
“Emerald City” follows 20-year-old Dorothy Gale (Arjona) and her K9 police dog from Kansas who, after a tornado, are transported to another world far away — a mystical land of competing kingdoms, lethal warriors, wicked witches, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy. Other cast members include Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Lucas, Ana Ularu as the Wicked Witch of the West, Gerran Howell as Jack, Jordan Loughran as Tip and Mido Hamada as Eamonn.
D’Onofrio’s was in “Jurassic World” this summer, and starred in Netflix’s “Daredevil.” He is repped by UTA, Silver Lining Entertainment, and Ken Richman at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller.