Dear Hollywood: Don't Fuck Up The Wizard Of Oz


Remakes and reimaginings and retellings? Oh, my. As I have mentioned once or twice, The Wizard Of Oz is one of my favorite films. But I’m worried for the Oz projects in the works.

And they are in the works: The LA Times reports that Warner Bros. is looking at a couple of different ways to redo the classic. One project, called Oz, is being produced by the folks behind Twilight and Shrek Forever After. A second Oz film is being written by the same guy who penned A History of Violence and “and focuses on a granddaughter of Dorothy who returns to Oz to fight evil.” There’s a third project, a film based on the Broadway show Wicked, but that’s not as worrying. Here’s what scares me:

Steven Zeitchik writes:

…There’s plenty of appeal in trying to take the story of Dorothy & Co. back to the big screen. For one, there’s the bonkers $210 million global opening for “Alice,” which shows that if you’re trying to create a mega-blockbuster, one smart way to do it is to take a title people know and update it for the effects era.

Now Alice In Wonderland is one of my favorite stories. But I am trying to delete Tim Burton’s shlocky, depressing Alice out of my mind. A tale about wonderful, curious, silly things became a forced, faux-epic effects-reliant reluctant hero story that broke my heart. I can take bleak, gothic overtones, but where was the whimsy, the delight? As Hortense wrote, “there was just a lack of love in the film.” Why should a new Oz be any different? We’ve seen what’s become of Strawberry Shortcake and Rainbow Brite. I’ll admit that Fairuza Balk’s Return To Oz wasn’t bad. But it’s devastating thinking about Dorothy as a hipster warrior; or Flying Monkeys that look like Avatar‘s Na’vi or picturing Dorothy’s granddaughter wearing sparkly Chucks. Not only do I have zero faith in Hollywood getting it right, I hate that dollar signs are only reason the studio finds the idea appealing. It’s not like they’re scooping up a homage-type script by a devoted fan. And I have this sick feeling that Kristen Stewart could get cast.

Anyway: Part of the charm of The Wizard Of Oz is that you’re watching an old movie. Seriously, Warner Bros. would leave this project alone, if they only had a brain.

A New ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Could Make Its Way Down The Hollywood Road [LA Times]

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