There’s a ‘Wizard of Oz’ Remake in the Works That Will Be a Fresh Take on the Classic Story
Emmy-award-winning director Nicole Kassell will be repaving the yellow brick road with her remake of the classic “Wizard of Oz” film.
The beloved 1939 movie was an adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Judy Garland starred as Dorothy, a young girl from Kansas who is swept from her farm by a tornado and lands in the magical Land of Oz with her dog, Toto.
Kassell, who directed HBO’s Watchmen, is pairing up with New Line Cinema for the project. The company says the film will provide a “fresh take” on Dorothy and the Land of Oz.
“While the 1939 musical is part of my DNA, I am exhilarated and humbled by the responsibility of reimagining such a legendary tale,” Kassell said. “The opportunity to examine the original themes – the quest for courage, love, wisdom, and home – feels more timely and urgent than ever.
The original film has quite the following, and Kassell says she is not taking her responsibility of serving up a worthy remake lightly.
“These are profoundly iconic shoes to fill,” she added, “and I am eager to dance alongside these heroes of my childhood as we pave a newly minted yellow brick road!”
Unlike the classic film, Kassell’s version will reportedly not be a musical. Instead, according to a report by Billboard, it will be a “reimagining” of the original tale.
Fans needn’t worry about all the original elements being replaced. Warner Bros. owns New Line and the original film’s rights, meaning some trademark items (think ruby slippers) are likely to be featured.
Previous efforts to reimagine the tale have been met with mixed reviews by critics and fans. In the 1970s, “The Wiz” hit Broadway and later was turned into a film starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. The highly popular “Wicked” came to Broadway in 2003, where it still plays.
The most recent “Wizard of Oz” was Walt Disney’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” in 2013. The prequel starred James Franco and was set 20 years before the events of the 1939 film. Sam Raimi directed the film, which received mostly positive reviews.
Other adaptations have been far less successful. “The Wonderful Land of Oz,” which was released in the 1970s, was a total flop. In 1985, “Return to Oz” was released and met with similar criticism.
We’re hoping the latest effort knocks our ruby slippers off! What are some of your favorite scenes from the original? Will you check out this new film? Let us know your thoughts!