NBC has found a gritty, sinister Wizard to oversee its dark new take on The Wizard Of Oz, with Variety reporting that Vincent D’Onofrio will be starring as Emerald City’s version of the famous balloon-flying humbug. Previous casting notices have described the character as charismatic politician with a dark side, which—given that, even in the L. Frank Baum original, he was a manipulative charlatan who used a gingham-decked farm girl as his own private assassin—means he might be Emerald City’s least ridiculously grim character to date. (Especially when compared with his witchy political rivals, the drug-slinging West and perfectionist North.)
D’Onofrio’s last TV role was as the surprisingly sympathetic Wilson Fisk on Netflix’s Daredevil, a role that also necessitated hiding a character’s dark side behind a public facade. (In Daredevil, the mask was of a well-meaning politician, while in Oz it’s traditionally been a giant smoke-spewing head and a concealing bit of curtain, so, y’know, to each their own.) The actor also appeared in the dinosaur-battling money machine Jurassic World, and is expected to appear in the upcoming Magnificent Seven.
D’Onofrio joins the already-cast Adria Arjona, who’ll be playing the wounded-by-life Dorothy to his cunning, manipulative Wizard. The series has a ten-episode order from NBC, which it received recently after being passed up in 2014—back when the network apparently hadn’t heard yet how much money there was in the whole “dark Wizard Of Oz” thing that Wicked birthed upon the world.