SCI FI Channel has announced that Zooey Deschanel (Elf) has been cast to play the Dorothy role in Tin Man, the network’s upcoming six-hour miniseries based on L. Frank Baum’s classic tome The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The psychedelic re-imagining is slated to begin production in March in Vancouver and will premiere in December.
Deschanel will play DG, a young woman plucked from her humdrum life and thrust into The Outer Zone (a.k.a. the O.Z.), a fantastical realm filled with wonder but oppressed by dark magic. Alan Cumming (X2: X-Men United) will also star as Glitch, the Scarecrow-like character described as an odd man missing half his brain.
As she struggles to fulfill her destiny, DG will reportedly battle evil monkey-bats and other magical elements, so expect a fair share of CG effects from this television event. Baum’s Cowardly Lion is replaced by Raw, a wolverine-like creature longing for inner courage, while the Tin Man goes by the name of Cain, a heroic former policeman who is seeking vengeance for his scarred heart. Ultimately, DG must square off with the wicked sorceress Azkadellia.
Tin Man is being directed by Nick Willing, whose credits include Hallmark’s TV treatments of Jason and the Argonauts and Alice in Wonderland. Robert Halmi Sr. and Robert Halmi Jr. (Dinotopia) will exec produce, along with co-writers Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle (TV’s The Pretender).