McFarlane kills Oz rumours
There have been quite a few rumours about Todd McFarlane's planned sequel of The Wizard of Oz, rumours from just how dark it's going to be to who's set to star as Dorothy, rumours which seem like finger in the air guess work that anything else.
Now McFarlane has been talking about them and addressing them directly, and at the same time killing them, or at least seriously reining them in.
The previous rumours had Dakota Fanning as the lead, rumours coming through a British tabloid known for these crazy rumours, and totally un-sourced.
However the biggest killer, and the one I keep harping back to time and time again, is the fact that the script wasn't finished, and without a finished script I don't see a lead signing up to the project, especially one that seems as risky as this.
A sequel to one of the most classic films of all time, or rather another sequel to it, and one which is going to seriously change tact and direction with a big modernisation? No, I don't see her signing up, and that's what Todd McFarlane says too.
"I haven't heard that. If we just do a sugary sweet Dorothy that everybody has seen over and over for 50 years, as far as I'm concerned, that's too obvious. I'm happy to go with whoever will get the most people in the seats, but sometimes that can change from month to month."
That's the quote direct from the man through Empire, and he has more to say about Oz, revealing that the really dark version that the original writer Josh Olson was talking about in the previous story, may not be the one we see as there's a rewrite underway.
"They're on their second iteration right now, trying to get it into a zone that makes sense. Josh Olsen wrote a draft that didn't quite strike Warners fancy. Everyone was a little lukewarm. They wanted it more sexy! So they were going to do a rewrite and get some fresh eyes on it…
…I think my "Twisted" version is a little scary for Warners to embrace. I essentially pitched Lord of the Rings. It was big, it was bold and it wasn't a very pretty place. It was badass! There's no Baum in it at all. When they bought it from me, my thing was, turn off the MGM mindset. It's a public domain property, let's go invent some cool new ideas, which basically will surprise people. What's going to get a new generation to go look at Oz is if you reinvent it on some level."
So the previous writer's script is out the window, along with McFarlane's really dark vision for Oz, a complete standalone, recreated version of the story that was totally different to the source vision. Now they're going back to the source novel which looks more like it's a complete change of direction from the dark version onto the source version.
Finally he addresses those same rumours in the tabloid about it filming in the UK, insanely stupid rumours considering the script is just about to hit the second draft.
"That's putting the cart before the horse. That depends on what kind of budget comes in, where the confidence level is for the studio execs, where they'll have the most success stretching their dollars."
So that original rumour story can basically be thrown in the bin, and now we've heard from Todd McFarlane - no casting, second draft of the script coming to change the story, no firm date, wait and see.