NBC’s embattled ‘Emerald City‘ is seemingly back on track after faltering hard last year. The network ordered the show straight-to-series, skipping the pilot stage and promoted the show at SDCC 2014, but a month later, parted ways with showrunner Josh Friedman when they couldn’t see eye-to-eye.
But the project is not abandoned. New showrunner David Schulner stepped in and has brought in a very high-profile, stylistic director to helm all ten episodes of the series. Check out Schulner’s tweet below:
— David Schulner (@davidschulner) July 14, 2015
Tarsem is of course Tarsem Singh the artsy director behind cerebral horror movie ‘The Cell,’ the Greek mythology epic ‘Immortals,’ and the light Snow White themed ‘Mirror Mirror.’ His first brush with success was directing R.E.M.’s classic ‘Losing My Religion’ music video.
The director is not what you’d call prolific. The movies mentioned, plus 2006’s ‘The Fall’ and last week’s flop ‘Self/Less’ are literally all he has done. Of these, only ‘The Cell’ was anything close to a hit. The rest were big budget flops.
Singh’s dream-like visuals are his strongest suit, so a dark Oz adaptation seems right up his alley. But can he keep up with the faster pace of television? That remains to be seen.
‘Emerald City’ re-imagines the technicolor dream world of the 1938 film as a land torn by warring factions. Imagine a PG rated ‘Game of Thrones’ but with a lot more dwarfs.
Here is the show’s official synopsis:
Desperate for clues that will lead to the identity of her biological mother, a young woman breaks into a sinister underground facility somewhere in the Midwest. Unable to complete her mission and surrounded by security, our feisty heroine steals a K9 police dog and drives away into the night… and headlong into the path of a raging tornado. In the blink of an eye, she is 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 20-year-old Dorothy Gale becomes a headstrong warrior who holds the fate of kingdoms in her hands. You’re not in Kansas anymore, and this is not your Grandmother’s Oz.
Presumably, song and dance numbers are off the board.
Are you intrigued to see what the mysterious land of Oz looks like filtered through Singh’s dreamy filter? Or have you seen enough dark, twisted spins on classic children’s tales? Will NBC have a surprise fantasy hit? Or a costly dud?