The Wizard of Oz hit theaters 78 years ago and it's nearly impossible to imagine a world without it. The book-turned-film has become an ever-present reference point for other writers and artists. The latest reinterpretation of the popular story comes to NBC on Jan. 6, 2017 and it's safe to say that Emerald City isn't quite like other adaptations. While most re-tellings of Wizard of Oz celebrate the original film's colorful world and jovial music, Emerald City goes for a darker, grittier approach to the source material. In taking a darker look at Oz, there's been plenty of changes from The Wizard Of Oz to Emerald City.
People had taken and twisted the story of Dorothy and her friends in many ways over the years, inspiring everything from the popular stage musical The Wiz to the subversive book series-turned-musical Wicked. In fact, this isn't even the first time that The Wizard Of Oz has gotten a gritty TV adaptation. SyFy's Tin Man miniseries (starring a pre-New Girl Zooey Deschanel) premiered back in 2007, but the idea of a dark Wizard of Oz series is finally making its way to network television a decade later thanks to Emerald City. While the idea of a gritty retelling of Wizard of Oz may not be new, no show has as gone far down that road as Emerald City does. Here are just a few of the changes that Emerald City is bringing to the classic story.
Dorothy Runs Over The Wicked With With A Police Car
Dorothy's transportation to Oz has none of the whimsy and magic of The Wizard of Oz. It's quick, and brutal, and violent (oh my!) and it ends in Dorothy accidentally driving over the Wicked Witch in a stolen cop car. We are certainly not in Kansas anymore.
Follow The Poppy Seed Road
In Emerald City, the road to Oz is not paved in gold. Instead, the yellow bricks are only yellow because of a dusting of poppy seeds that leads Dorothy's way.
No More Ruby Red Slippers
Emerald City kicks off the iconic ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in the original film, and instead bestow its new Dorothy with some fantastic ruby-laced gauntlets.
The Munchkins Are Much Taller
The first people Dorothy met in Oz were the quaint, whimsical Munchkins. In Emerald City, those munchkins have been replaced with a tribe of people living outside of society. Needless to say, no one will be representing the lollipop guild in Emerald City.
The Flying Monkeys Are Drones Now
In a very 2017 twist, it seems that Emerald City has traded actual flying monkeys in exchange for robotic drones, while still keeping true to their simian inspiration.
The Scarecrow Is A Lot Less Jolly
The Scarecrow of Emerald City is a far cry from the straw-man of Oz. Instead of serving a typical scarecrow posting without the benefit of a brain, the scarecrow in Emerald City is a man strung up by barbed-wire in a Christ position who has lost his memory. Don't get your hopes up for any soft-shoe from this new Scarecrow.
The Lion Doesn't Seem So Cowardly
Instead of an actual Lion, Emerald City seems to be using the image of a Lion as a great warrior. However, it's been hinted by the shows star, Adria Arjona, that not everything is as it seems in Emerald City. Arjona told the crowd at 2016's San Diego Comic-Con, "I think people will play guessing games [over identities] ... [They’ll ask], ‘Is that the Lion? Is that the Tinman?’ It will slowly be revealed. It’s a lot more mysterious."
Toto Isn't So Little Anymore
Toto is getting a major size-upgrade in Emerald City. Unfortunately,"I'll get you, my pretty! And your medium-sized dog, too!" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
These are some of the most apparent changes to Oz present in Emerald City, but the show will likely continue to dive deeper and deeper into the expansive source material to keep finding new elements of the classic story to adapt. While there's only one original The Wizard of Oz musical film, the Wizard of Oz book series has 14 books by original author L. Frank Baum meaning that Emerald City has no shortage of original Oz stories to pull from while Dorothy discovers that there truly is no place like home.