Two New ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Movies Are In Development
We have a new Hollywood arms race. In the hallowed tradition of Volcano and Dante’s Peak, and Armageddon versus Deep Impact, two different movies based on L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are in the works. It’s an Oz off!
First up is a live-action project titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It’s described as a film that will “re-imagine” the classic property. The director for the project is Nicole Kassell, who helped helm the recent Watchmen series for HBO. Kassell did the Watchmen pilot along with two additional episodes. According to Deadline, her landing the role follows “an extensive director search by New Line.”
She’ll be in a race to the screen with an animated Oz musical film from Warner Bros. This one is an adaptation of the children’s book Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz. That Oz is being produced by Animal Logic, the Australian animation studio that previously made The Lego Movie 2. According to The Hollywood Reporter, John August is working on the screenplay; he previously wrote Big Fish, the Aladdin remake, and several Tim Burton films, including Frankenweenie, Corpse Bride, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The last major Oz-sploitation to make it to the big screen was 2013’s Oz: The Great and Powerful, a sort of origin story for the wizard starring James Franco and directed by Sam Raimi. Now two projects are competing to follow it to theaters. Which will make it? Which will get squished under the giant metaphorical house of development hell? We’ll find out eventually.
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