The yellow brick road to “Emerald City” has been far too long. The series was initially ordered in 2014 before being dropped, but NBC picked it up again in 2015. The “Wizard of Oz”-inspired drama will finally make its debut in 2017, and that means more is being revealed about the series. The cast and writers visited New York Comic Con Saturday to dish about the new show, and they revealed some fun facts.
1. One Director — Typically, TV shows switch directors for each episode, but Tarsem Singh wanted to do the entire first season. He directed all 10 episodes. “It would be intimidating if I’d known the scope earlier. I kind of didn’t,” the director admitted.
2. European Locations — The show filmed in Spain, Croatia and Budapest during the shoot. Some of the locations were so remote that the crew had to build roads just to get filming equipment there.
3. Out-Of-This-World Costumes — The NBC drama shares a costume designer with “Star Wars.”
4. Diverse Cast —“Emerald City” has a pretty diverse cast with Dorothy (Adria Arjona) being Hispanic, a black wicked witch (Florence Kasumba) and cast members from all over the world. According to the producers, that wasn’t intentional. They allowed all ethnicities to audition for the series. “We happen to have a miraculous cast that happens to look like the United Nations, but they were just the best actors,” executive producer Shaun Cassidy said.
5. Book Material — Those who read the L. Frank Baum books that inspired the original movie will be pleased to find even more material from the series in this TV show. Characters who didn’t make the cut in other versions, like Tip and Princess Langwidere, will appear in the TV show.
6. Trans Characters — The books even provided a way for “Emerald City” to easily incorporate transgender people in the storyline.
7. Differences — While it shares the basic ideas of “The Wizard of Oz,” “Emerald City” definitely makes some changes. The panel aired the first 40 minutes of the two-hour premiere, and it’s much bloodier, darker and more complex than the original.
The two-hour “Emerald City” Season 1 premiere airs Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, at 9 p.m. EDT.