The Wiz - Emerald City Sequence
Finally reaching the Emerald City (an analogue of the real-life World Trade Center Plaza), the quintet gain passage into the city because of Dorothy’s ownership of the silver shoes and marvel at the spectacle of the city and its dancers. Dorothy and her friends gain an audience with the Wizard (Richard Pryor), who appears to them as a giant fire-breathing metallic head.
The scenes filmed at the Emerald City were elaborate, utilizing six hundred fifty dancers, three hundred eighty-five crew members and twelve hundred costumes. Costume designer Tony Walton enlisted the help of high fashion designers in New York City for the Emerald City sequence, and obtained exotic costumes and fabric from designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Norma Kamali.
Quincy Jones was the musical supervisor and music producer for the film. He later wrote that he initially did not want to work on the film, but did it as a favor to Sidney Lumet, the director. The film production marked Quincy Jones’ first time working with Michael Jackson, and Jones would later produce three hit albums for Jackson. Jones recalled working with Jackson as one of his favorite experiences from The Wiz, and spoke of Jackson’s dedication to his role, comparing his acting style to Sammy Davis, Jr.