The Wizard of Oz reboots and adaptations just don’t stop coming. A new version of the classic world from the mind of L. Frank Baum, is about to hit the small screen this time. Deadline has reported that director Timur Bekmambetov will be serving as executive producer and potentially directing an upcoming miniseries called “Warriors of Oz” which will be airing on SyFy. Continue reading
The classic 1939 and much beloved film adaptation of The Wizard of OZ is heading to theaters once again but this time in 3D. For the film’s 75th anniversary, Warner Brothers have announced that they will be featuring the movie in a 3D re-release in IMAX theaters in September. Continue reading
The upcoming big screen adaptation, Oz The Great and Powerful, is set to hit theaters in a few months and lead actress Rachel Weisz recently spoke out about her role. The film, inspired by the classic L. Frank Baum novel, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” is a fresh take on the much beloved story.
Raimi’s film is set before the events of the 1900 book and 1939 film. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz. He thinks he’s hit the jackpot, with fame and fortune his for the taking… that is, until he meets the witches Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is really evil before it is too late. Putting his “magical” arts to use through illusion, ingenuity, and even a bit of wizardry, Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.
Weisz spoke about her character, the Wicked Witch of the East, with media outlet The Sun saying,
“It was a fun idea to be playing someone who is really, really bad,” Weisz told the outlet. “I can’t think of any roles that I’ve had like that before… She’s really, really a bad person and she revels in being bad.”
The Wicked Witch of the East was originally seen in “Land of Oz” created by Baum in his Oz series of books. The cruel old witch conquered and tyrannized the Munchkin Country in the East, making the Munchkins slave for her night and day. The magical silver shoes (changed to the Ruby Slippers in the popular 1939 MGM film version) were one of her most prized possessions, and she met her demise when Dorothy Gale’s house landed on her. Her dry, withered body quickly turned to dust, leaving only the magic shoes.
“It’s a Disney film,” Weisz continues, “so I shouldn’t say she is ‘turned on’ by evil, but that’s what it is like… She enjoys it, like the meaner she is the more pleasure she gets.”
Oz The Great and Powerful hits theaters in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D on March 8.
Some classic books provide fodder for directors for decades to come. They get remade every decade or so by new directors for a new audience. Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has inspired numerous film adaptations. Ronald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has also been adapted multiple times. The latest addition to the list is L. Frank Baum’s Dorothy and The Wizard of Oz.
Most recently adapted for television in the form of SyFy’s “Tin Man”, starring Zooey Deschanel and Alan Cumming, the story is now providing the foundation for two new projects.
E!, a network known mostly for reality shows such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians, is now developing several scripted drama series. Among the new shows is “Dorothy”, a new take on Baum’s classic story.
Here is E!’s description:
Inspired by the book Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, a girl from Kansas City falls for a man and moves with him to the Emerald City to work at his Emerald Hotel.”
The show will be written by Natalie Krinsky (Gossip Girl, Grey’s Anatomy), so viewers can expect hearty servings of weekly drama.
In other Oz-related news, Summertime Entertainment is developing its own adaptation—a 3D CG animated film.
The role of Dorothy will be voiced by Lea Michele, most known for her role on “Glee.” Tony Award-winning actress Bernadette Peters will lend her voice to the character of Glinda the Good Witch.
To have Bernadette Peters as Glinda is such a treat,” said Will Finn, one of the film’s directors in a report from Summertime Entertainment. “She epitomizes the character who is known by Oz fans worldwide to have a very caring and generous heart.”
Peters agreed with this sentiment.
“Glinda and I have the same heart and soul,” she said. “Her hair has a mind of its own like mine!”
According to ComingSoon, Peters and Michele will perform a duet on the film’s soundtrack.
Also starring are Martin Short, Jim Belushi , Dan Aykroyd, Kelsey Grammer, Megan Hilty, Hugh Dancy, Oliver Platt and Patrick Stewart. The film will be directed by Dan St. Pierre.