You might think that The Wizard Of Oz is an untouchable classic, and for the most part you’d be correct – but Warner Brothers is attempting to tap into the fertile world of L Frank Baum’s original books to re-write Dorothy and co’s DNA a little.
It’s all based on an idea hatched by Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and A History Of Violence scribe Josh Olson, who have been hashing out ideas on how to re-invent the story’s appeal. McFarlane has already dabbled in Ozian merchandise, releasing a line of toys featuring a busty Dorothy and Toto re-worked as a warthog.
But Olson claims he isn’t interested into totally revamping the character’s image: “I saw those toys, and Dorothy as some bondage queen isn’t something I want to do," he blabbed to Variety. "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. We still want to take advantage of the first film, which might be the most beloved of all time, and rely on its place in your cultural memory to bubble beneath the surface. A lot of the plot is mine, but the characters are all Baum."
McFarlane, however, is in agreement about getting audiences into the cinema: "My pitch was ‘How do we get people who went to Lord Of The Rings to embrace this?” he gassed to the trade mag. "I want to create an interpretation that has a 2007 wow factor. 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."
Apparently it’ll be more of a sequel than a remake, but they’d better be ready for some seriously harsh feedback from those who love the books and the movie. Oh, and from Universal, who owns the rights to the smash hit musical Wicked and will be severely pissed if they get scooped on an Oz-flavoured flick. The studio may not have any solid plans for a Wicked movie yet, but you can get they were thinking of milking that cash cow soon…