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Wizard of Oz remake

WizardofOz.jpgThink on this for a moment, a Wizard of Oz remake adapted from the original L. Frank Baum novels by Todd McFarlane, the creator of Spawn, and Josh Olson, the writer of A History of Violence. Sounds bizarre but strangely attractive doesn't it? Well it's happening.

An idea from Todd McFarlane has been worked on and pitched by Josh Olson to Warner Brothers who own the rights for the original The Wizard of Oz, and they've said yes.

According to Variety McFarlane's vision is dark, edgy and "muscular" - whatever that means in terms of the story, does that mean they're all going to be body builders? The good news is that there's going to be no munchkins in the film!

What is interesting is that the article suggests that both writers have slightly different visions, while McFarlane's is going for a PG-13, Olson is looking for a PG. Over at Variety he says:

"I saw those toys, and Dorothy as some bondage queen isn’t something I want to do...The appealing thing about the Baum books to me is how wildly imaginative they are. There are crazy characters from amazing places. I want this to be ‘Harry Potter’ dark, not ‘Seven’ dark...

...A lot of the plot is mine, but the characters are all Baum."

Whereas McFarlane wants something slightly different:

"How do we get people who went to ‘Lord of the Rings’ to embrace this?...You’ve still got Dorothy trapped in an odd place, but she’s much closer to the Ripley from ‘Alien’ than a helpless singing girl."

So it seems that Olson has taken over the story now and it's not going to be the dark and edgy tale that McFarlane would have wanted. However it is going to be very close to the original novels and that's got to produce something different from the original Wizard of Oz film.

Here come the classic remakes.





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Comments

oh god they really don't know what they're getting into.

you don't touch "the Wizard". you don't REMAKE "the Wizard". Michael Jackson and countless others have proven why you don't try. Why...why...my mother is going to positively have a heart attack if she hears about this. you shouldn't have to stoop that low to come up with a decent idea for a movie pitch. I must say( in the words of Jeff Goldblum from Jurassic Park, paraphrased for convenience ), "...you can't be serious. It can't be allowed. I don't wanna go."

how long are comment fields allowed to be, again, Richard? Because I could fill up concievably an entire megabyte's worth of text on the subject of how bad of an idea it is to make this film again in the first place...about the nuances of the original and the tactilities that work in film once out of a million tries. How when a remake tries for greatness and falls flat on it's ass ( 99.9999999999999999 of the time ), not only does it make the idiots whom thought they could cash in on said property look even more moronic than they are, but it completely cheapens the ideals which the source material set out to do.

Todd McFarlane, and whomever he's drug into this with himself, are damn lucky i'm commenting on YOUR site. Because I have utter respect for your property, Richard, and I would cease from using the type of profanity that this news is really inciting me to hurl directly at them.

But between you and me, Richard, when this movie fails, utterly and terribly, and the toys that Todd are aiming to hock out of this don't make him enough money back to recoup the dignity he could possibly have left, mogulus told him so. : )

ANOTHER remake? Did you know that a miniseries based on the story is coming out this fall on the Sci Fi Channel as well?

Vic

This is going to be great!!! If it's based off of the original OZ series of books rather then an musical film.

Todd McFarlane and Josh Olson should also look at the novels 'Wicked' and 'Son of a Witch' to get some ideas of the darker side of Oz....

Can't wait!

I think that they are looking at all the source books for this one. That seems to be the main idea, not to remake the film.

Have you heard of the new Oz book -- for Halloween? It is more like a Harry Potter book.


Harry is gone -- but Dorothy returns!

Burbank, Calif. -- Sept. 29, 2007 -- Alpimar Books announces the publication of Halloween in Oz: Dorothy Returns, and the beginning of a new series set in a magical world that readers have heard of, but know so little about -- the Land of Oz.

Halloween in Oz is BOOK ONE of an Alpimar series of Oz stories. With 553 pages, the book follows the fuller style of twentieth-first century fantasy, yet it retains the spirit of L. Frank Baum’s classic: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900. Its action takes place in that year as well.

In this book, Oz is not simply a dream, as portrayed in the famous movie, but a real place -- an alternate Earth where magic reigns. That’s how it was in the original book.

Those who miss Harry Potter and grieve for Hermione will welcome Dorothy Gale back. And Dorothy is as feisty as Hermione ever was. Some of the boys at school in rural Kansas call her a spitfire when they try to tease her about her tale of Oz.

It’s a few months after the tornado, and Dorothy wants to return to Oz for many reasons: to prove to herself that Oz does exist, to escape for a while the boredom of life in 1900 Kansas where only boys are expected to so many things, and to find an old tintype that she lost there -- the only picture she had of her deceased parents. Then finally, the ghostly voices of her parents in a Halloween night dream summon her back.

In Oz, Dorothy finds that during Halloween the opportunity for evil witchcraft is at its peak -- and that the holiday lasts for a "witch-week" -- thirteen days! Old friends like Scarecrow, Tin-man, Lion, and the Munchkins, as well as new friends like a mysterious boy with purple hair, a flight of bats, and her Kansas pumpkin magically brought to life – join Dorothy and Toto in what becomes a battle to save Oz.

http://www.halloweeninoz.com

"This is going to be great!!! If it's based off of the original OZ series of books rather then an musical film."

I can't more heartily agree. The musical was HORRIBLE, to put it lightly. If they can make this more in line with the books. And splash in some horror for good measure, they could possibly have one of the best movies of all time on their hands. At leasst as long as McFarlane doesn't get too involved in the directing...

A remake of OZ? You've got to be kidding. These people have absolutely lost their freaking minds.

Agreed Ed. They really should stop this remake malarky.

I'm so excited about this. I found this page searching in hopes that someone somewhere was taking this on. Would love to see a remake in the same vein as Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia. There is much darkness and scariness to be explored that were only barely touched in the musical.

I am all up for an Oz remake, but it has to be sympathetic to the original movie. It has to be "WONDERFUL" to succeed. I think the reason that the old movie is still accepted today is because of the rich color and the painted backdrops, it really embraces that notion of escapism that so many people can relate to.

Please don't Lord of the Rings it up, we don't want to see Ripley from Alien in OZ!

Think about that... The 1939 movie is "cute". The books on the other hand are not so much. They are deeper and darker than what was put on screen in 1939. The big deal with that film and why it was such a big hit was the addition of color to motion picture films. That was probably as amazing for viewers back then as the I=Max theater is now... It was always about the $, not the story... The story... I have read all of the stories. They are awesome! A remake could be done, but it would have to be done right. People would have to go into it knowing that it follows the book, not Judy Garland. They could really turn this into someting great. There are, I believe, 13 different oz stories. That would be 13 motion pictures. I think it could be done, it wouldn't hurt the classic, but it would give the stories the justice they truly deserve. L. Frank Baum would probably appreciate that very much. I know I would as a fan.

Interesting Simon, I never knew that about Oz. I wonder though will the majority of the audience manage to get over the Garland film and get into this new style? It would certainly take a lot of pre-release marketing and positioning.

This is awesome. I hate when people whine about remakes. Hell, original wizard of oz was great for what it was, but it wasn't even true to the books. I think its awesome someone is trying to do a film closer to the books and it will be great to see with the effects we have today. Why do people think that once the remake is out...the original will disappear. I've always wanted to see my favorite classics redone with todays effects, and I think its awesome they are starting to do it. Jaws, for example is being redone...Can't wait to see that. It won't have the same effect as the first one, but it will look better. Its nice to have both sides..the originals and the remakes.

Dorathy walking around with a pulse rifle ductaped to a flamethrower walking around taking out winged monkeys. Awesome!

Seriously - think Pan's Labyrinth.

i think it's a great idea. maybe those who were around 4 the original may think that it should always stay the same, forever, but life goes on and this imaginitive story should go with it! let others express their views on how they imagined the movie should look. instead of this generation and more to come not wanting to watch an old movie that they may not be able to relate to, let them experience it in a more realistic looking setting. if someone doesn't like it, they simply don't have to watch it and can stick to the original, and as well, children from this time can look back on the original and see how it paved a "yellow brick road" for every other movie that has come after it! in my opinion, there are so many oz books that they can bring to life and tell the WHOLE story.

I can't think of a any other remake* worse than The Wizard of Oz... but then I take a deep breath, think about it for a minute and then realise its probably not going to be that bad an idea.

The 'orignal' wasn't really an orignal. There had been at least 5 film versions before the 1939 classic was made. Not to mention the numerous stage versions that went around at the time.

I don't think any new Oz film would be a 'remake' at all, but a re working of the original L. Frank Baum stories, and in the right hands, that really could be an exciting prospect.

* Not quite true. There should be a law that no one can ever even think about remaking The Sound of Music!

this time last week I would have said it was a terrible idea to remake the Wizard of Oz. The original (or at least the well known version) ias a classic and should be left well alone. And God knows I do NOT want to hear a Kanye West / Beyonce mix of Follow the Yellow Brick Road. However. I downloaded the ebook of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz and read it over the last few days.

What a difference!

Ok it was silly and cute in places and downright violent in others. The Tin man comes into being by being cursed by the grandmother of the girl he loves so he accidentally cuts off his own leg - a tin smith makes him a new one but he keeps hacking bits of himself off until all that's left is tin.

You know what? I've never read it, so that's a real eye opener, it really does sound much darker than the film. People kept telling me that but never actually gave an example, and that's a pretty dark example.

I think I'm going to get into it and read it now. Thanks Martin.

I wouldn't be surprised if the remake is CGI. That would easier tyo follow the book illustrations

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