NBC's take on The Wizard of Oz finally debuts Friday, with a strong aesthetic and a diverse cast taking on iconic roles from L. Frank Baum's universe. Who plays the Wizard on Emerald City? Vincent D'Onofrio will portray the great and powerful Oz in the new series.
The Wizard is somewhat of a villain in this story. According to the official description from NBC, he is an "all-powerful ruler [who] governs over one kingdom, has outlawed magic, and faces not only the wrath of a growing cauldron of witches but a looming disaster brought on by a mythical force." Oz is a divided land (which, considering that the witches in the book and movie are named after cardinal directions, is not that big of a leap) that Dorothy will help bring together. Whether or not Emerald City will delve into the Wizard's humble beginnings from the book and original movie remains to be seen.
D'Onofrio is somewhat infamously able to drastically change his appearance for a role, or just for fun. Currently, and Emerald City is further evidence of this, he is settling into an Orson Welles circa 1975 look. Though he's best known for Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Men in Black, and Full Metal Jacket, here are three places you've definitely seen D'Onofrio in the past two years.
The Magnificent Seven
His vocal performance in the Western reboot was unreal, and rivaled only by Forest Whitaker in Rogue One.
In Marvel's first season of their first Netflix original series, the actor played villain and art lover Wilson Fisk.
Before Magnificent Seven, D'Onofrio worked with certified movie star Chris Pratt in the new Jurassic Park film. He played the security head who wanted to use the dinos as military weapons.
As a character actor, he tends to lean towards nefarious roles — especially in more recent years. D'Onofrio also likes big characters. The Wizard is kind of the perfect balance of theatrical and shady for him. His performance on Emerald City is sure to be a highlight.