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, Schulner looks for hope in tragedy in a chain of emails he exchanged with supervising producer Tracy Bellomo in regards to episode 9, “The Villain That’s Become.” Read the unedited emails below.
On Feb. 13, 2017, at 4:53 p.m., David Schulner wrote:
Hey Tracy, I’ve been thinking about how the audience will react to your episode. There’s a large portion of viewers for whom Dorothy and Lucas are they main reason they love the show. They haven’t forgiven us for the end of episode 7, will hate us for episode 8 and might be completely repulsed by Lucas in episode 9. What would you say to that?
On Feb. 13, 2017, at 5:02 p.m., Tracy Bellomo wrote:
PULL IT FROM THE SCHEDULE!!!
Of course. Why are you asking. Are you going into hiding? Should I? Death threats? Twitter hiatus?
Looking for Ep 9 blog ideas?
On Feb. 13, 2017, at 5:04 p.m., David Schulner wrote:
Yeah, blog ideas. What would you say to the audience? I mean… “it doesn’t get worse!’ is all I can think of. You wrote that horrible scene. Adria and Ollie acted it. Should we ask them? You first.
On Feb. 13, 2017, at 5:25 p.m., Tracy Bellomo wrote:
It was your horrible idea ;)
What were you thinking when you decided on it?
I’d get into the subconscious aspect of Oz. Dorothy was sucked up by a tornado. Is this a real place, or like the movie, is it a dream? If this is her subconscious, she thinks all love goes bad, so that’s what manifests in her dream, or she’s trying to kill her old self to wake up new… blah blah blah… stuff like that.
If we’re addressing the people who’ll hate us, nothing we can say to make them feel better. Sorry.
On Feb. 13, 2017, at 5:39 p.m., David Schulner wrote:
As a feminist the uber story was never about Dorothy finding love, it was always about her search for her mother, a search for a way home, a search for self. Her love affair with Lucas helped show her who she was, but it was never meant to define her journey. Would quoting feminist theory make me look like a total a–hole?
On Feb. 13, 2017, at 6:11 p.m., Tracy Bellomo wrote:
You can say all that but I think if you quote theory or mention feminism the people you’re trying to make feel better will be insulted. Like don’t tell us you did this for our womanhood dude we wanted the fairy tale.
For both of their characters the story was never about the relationship. He’s living in a brutal high stakes world that drives his choices. Neither Dorothy or the audience can understand where he’s coming from until we’ve walked in his shoes. We do know where she’s coming from though, and your reasoning is sound.
BTW audience would LOVE to hear from Adria and Ollie for sure.
On Feb. 14 2017, at 01:08 p.m., David Schulner wrote:
Hey Ollie, I hope this finds you well. I’m worried about our audience after witnessing Lucas try to kill Dorothy, only to be strung up and abandoned by her in the end. What would you say to them? Will Lucas and Dorothy’s love survive? Could they ever have a future together? Would love to get your take on this. Miss you.
On Feb. 14, 2017 at 4:03 p.m. Oliver Jackson-Cohen wrote:
Hey there captain!
So I’m pretty sure they are gonna be super pissed! Like PISSED pissed! However I don’t wanna speak por la mamacita but I do feel like Lucas and Dorothy’s love will survive. The question is how does she forgive him if she chooses to at all. I think that while we were filming we kept saying that when she puts Lucas on the cross, it doesn’t come from anger or hurt but a sort of understanding between the two that he HAD to carry out the order however hurtful it is. I think that Dorothy knows that you can’t cross a witch and in a way understands the situation however much they both hate it. So…in conclusion…I do think that their love will carry on, once they get over this. Their love is born out of purity; and the love that roan shares with Glinda is clouded with duty and a hell of a lot of baggage.
Missing you guys
On Feb. 21, 2017 at 4:37 p.m. David Schulner wrote:
I love this Ollie. Can I put this in EW?
Emerald City airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on NBC.