Every week, Emerald City executive producers David Schulner and Shaun Cassidy will bring EW behind the scenes and explain the ins-and-outs of the new NBC dark fantasy series inspired by the Land of Oz books. Here, Cassidy spills on episode 8, “Lions in Winter,” via a script.
BEHIND THE SCENES ON "EMERALD CITY" Written by Shaun Cassidy
ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. NBC/UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - AUGUST, 2015 - DAY We’re TIGHT ON the face of Executive Producer DAVID SCHULNER. It's a good face, a face that has served David well for most of his forty-one years, but today, it's wrestling with a volcano of emotion. Schulner’s producing partner, SHAUN CASSIDY, enters. He’s just turned in his script, “Lions In Winter,” the eighth episode in their forthcoming limited series, “Emerald City.” Cassidy looks at Schulner in eager anticipation. CASSIDY: So? Schulner lets out a deep sigh. SCHULNER: It’s incredible. CASSIDY: Really? You really think so? SCHULNER: I do. And I love how you reveal the lion. I only wish... Schulner hesitates. Cassidy leans in.
SCHULNER: I only wish Lucas and Dorothy... could still be together.
Cassidy now notices that Schulner is crying. CASSIDY (with concern): David? Schulner’s head falls into his hands.
SCHULNER: WHY? WHY DID I LET THIS HAPPEN?! LUCAS AND DOROTHY SHOULD NEVER HAVE BROKEN UP!
CASSIDY (confused): But... it was your idea... SCHULNER: I KNOW! AND I HATE MYSELF FOR IT!
Schulner rises from his desk. Cassidy glances around the room to make sure it’s clear of sharp objects. SCHULNER (CONT’D): Lucas and Dorothy were a couple for the ages! What was I thinking?! CASSIDY: Plot twist? SCHULNER: Damn the plot twist! We’ve got enough trouble in the world now. Oz should be an escapist paradise! A land where love conquers all!
CASSIDY: Tracy Bellomo’s writing episode nine. Maybe she can get Lucas and Dorothy back together. SCHULNER: Glinda’s just sent Lucas to kill Dorothy! CASSIDY: Well, every relationship has its challenges.... SCHULNER: No. Our only hope is the finale. (wheels turning; half to himself) If Dorothy somehow doesn’t get back to Kansas... CASSIDY: Aren’t we calling it “No Place Like Home?"
SCHULNER: Who said Dorothy has to get home?
CASSIDY: L. Frank Baum?
SCHULNER: He’s dead. CASSIDY: Okay, but-- SCHULNER: We march to our own drummer! (pulling out his phone) I’m going to call Tarsem and see what he thinks about getting Dorothy and Lucas back together. CASSIDY: Tarsem’s scouting dungeons in Hungary. SCHULNER: Then he should be in a good mood. CASSIDY: David, I really think you’re overreacting. Getting Dorothy homeis very important. Learning the truth about her mother and finding her way back to Kansas is the culmination of her entire story. The hero’s journey, right? SCHULNER: Don’t give me that Joseph Campbell crap. CASSIDY: I’m just saying that this is everything we’ve been working toward all year, and if we don’t get Dorothy home-- SCHULNER: She and Lucas can live happily ever after! Cassidy looks at him pointedly. CASSIDY: And wouldn’t that be... boring? Schulner holds, realizing he’s right. Cassidy sighs, heads for the door.
CASSIDY (CONT’D): For the record, I think the scene between Lady Ev and Jack in this episode is one of the most moving we’ve had in our entire series. Thanks for your help with it. SCHULNER: You’re welcome. CASSIDY: You are going to be alright alone here, right? SCHULNER: I’ll be fine. Maybe I’ll write a scene where Dorothy kills a bunch of the Wizard’s soldiers. That ought to make me feel better. Cassidy nods. CASSIDY: See you in the morning. He exits. Schulner returns to his desk. Sits. After a beat, he picks up his phone and punches in a series of numbers.
SCHULNER (into phone): Tarsem? It’s David. Do you think there’s any way we could get Dorothy home and get she and Lucas back together? (beat) No, we’re not killing her in the dungeon... And off Schulner, we... BLACK OUT. THE END.
Emerald City airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.