Todd McFarlane, New Wizard of Oz

Not the prison. The magical kingdom.

Here's yet another story about filmmakers teaming up to resurrect an old property that, by all accounts, did just fine for itself the first time around -- but in this case, the possibilities are intriguing enough that we don't even mind it's a remake. According to Variety, Todd McFarlane (creator of Spawn) will be working with screenwriter Josh Olson (A History of Violence) to produce what's being called "a revisionist take" on The Wizard of Oz.

Should be interesting, no?

As some of you might recall, this isn't technically McFarlane's first trip down the yellow brick road -- he launched a line of Oz toys a few years back that included a Dorothy that looked like...well, this:

But don't freak out just yet, Oz fans. Olson's vision for the project is a little less extreme. From the article:

"I saw those toys, and Dorothy as some bondage queen isn't something I want to do...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."

And McFarlane agrees:

"My pitch was 'How do we get people who went to 'Lord of the Rings' to embrace this?' 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."

Of course, this isn't the first time someone has tried splashing a new coat of paint on the Oz stories -- 1985's Return to Oz, starring a young Fairuza Balk as Dorothy, was roundly criticized at the time for being too scary for kids. (Which was ironic, considering that it probably hewed closer to L. Frank Baum's original series of books than the first movie did, but you can't win 'em all.)

No director or release date has been announced for the project, which will be released through a partnership between Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures.

Source: Variety



Dan Rice

Interesting? If they're not going to do it based on the toy line? No.

Aug 22 - 04:03 AM

Rusty Broomhandle

Jaco Gerber

Well, hopefully based more on the books... not the awful musical that everyone thinks is THE Wizard Of Oz. The books were slightly darker. When the wicked witch (E or W, cant remeber) gets crushed by the house, for example, she's actually screaming stuff in agony.

So possibly interesting... need more info.

Aug 22 - 04:13 AM


Robert Kimberlin

jacog- Are you talking about The Wiz? The 1939 Wizard of Oz was a classic.

Aug 22 - 05:05 AM


Don Wright

cgcbooks -
I think jacog is referring to the 1939 movie. And while it is a classic, it is not a faithful interpretation of the book. I thought Return to OZ was interesting, and I am curious to see "The Tin Man" when it come to Sci-Fi.

Aug 22 - 05:28 AM


jeremy d

.....American McGee's Alice was also in the same vein as this. Wasn't that supposed to be turned into a film a while back too, with Sarah Michelle Gellar or something? Nonetheless, the game based on it was amazing and I wish they'd get production back on track.

This Oz thing seems very similar (at least that "bondage" picture does) so I'm 100% fine with this going ahead.

Aug 22 - 05:57 AM


Bryan Winter

Stick to drawing pictures, Todd.

Aug 22 - 05:58 AM


Eric Baker

Everything Todd McFarlane touches is contrived crap. Wizard of Oz not only doesn't need to be remade, anyone who thinks involving Todd McFarlane is a good idea should be drug out to the street and shot.

How about instead of remaking the movie, someone does an actual adaptation of the book that preserves its political allegory? It may be dated, but it would be interesting for the sake of history.

Aug 22 - 06:14 AM


Big Brother

Yeah, someone beat you to the punch with Wicked. That'd be an interesting movie. Not word for word from the book which sucked, but in that same vain with the Witch as the heroine and the Wizard as the real evil foil. The Wicked musical is awesome, but not so sure it would adapt to the big screen.

Aug 22 - 06:14 AM


Tyson Herritt

I've been hoping McGee's Alice for quite some time. Its probably in the backest of back burners.

But no bondage? C'mon. Dorthy likes it rough.

Aug 22 - 06:26 AM


Tim Higginbotham

It could work. Tim Burton's take on Roland Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was alot better and truer to the novel than the '70s Willy Wonka flick. I don't know why people are complaining that they're re-making Oz; they're not, they're just taking their own interpretation of the story. I'm anxious to see how it plays out if they decide to actually do it, but I'd really want a good team of filmmakers to create it.

Aug 22 - 06:37 AM


Big Brother

Yes, but like Charlie and Stephen Kings The Shining, While it was a closer adaption to the book, it wasn't as good a movie. I'm not saying you couldn't do this well, I just have doubts Macfarlane is going to top the original with this.

Aug 22 - 09:59 AM


Dao Yu

I dug McFarlane's comics (most of them, anyway) but his movie adaptation of Spawn gave me herpes. One can only hope he learned something from it.

Aug 22 - 07:01 AM

Rusty Broomhandle

Jaco Gerber

I agree that McFarlane's hand in this could ruin it, but please stop thinking it's a remake. Forget the musical.

The original Wizard Of Oz film was nothing like the books it was based on. If anything these people have a chance to do it right. Scary flying monkeys... scary wheelers... damnit, Oz is a weird and scary place.

Aug 22 - 07:10 AM

blank blank

bob jones

they should get tim burton to direct.

also, they should get tim burton to direct a live action alice in wonderland.

Aug 22 - 07:29 AM


Travis G

I always liked Return to Oz. It was strange and creepy. Anyway, there were a lot of Oz books, so there should be plenty of material to draw from. Could be cool. McFarlane should go back to actually drawing/writing comics, though. I guess running a multimedia mini-empire pays better.

Aug 22 - 07:58 AM

High School With Money


"2007 wow factor"??? Todd, please, don't. Nothing dates a movie more than that line of thought.

[i]Return to OZ[/i] was a bit goofy, but really fascinating. If they continued along that line of thought, the [i]Wizard[/i] reboot could be above decent. Especially getting Fairuza Balk to play the Wicked Witch. Ironic casting raux.

Aug 22 - 08:10 AM


Alec G

Hm. Sounds interesting. Wonder when that 'Alice' project with Sarah Michelle Gellar is ever going to get off the ground...

Aug 22 - 08:44 AM


J. P.

Judging from that picture this is going to be "Hot Topic Presents 'The Wizard of Oz'"

Aug 22 - 08:49 AM


Dan Mills

Three words..."straight to video"

Aug 22 - 09:06 AM


mark mckinley

Scarlett Johansson as Dorothy
Directed by someone like Michel Gondry or Guillermo Del Toro

Aug 22 - 09:49 AM


Big Brother

Yes, but like Charlie and Stephen Kings The Shining, While it was a closer adaption to the book, it wasn't as good a movie. I'm not saying you couldn't do this well, I just have doubts Macfarlane is going to top the original with this.

Aug 22 - 09:59 AM

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