McFarlane Not As Involved With New Wizard of Oz As Previously Reported

I've a feeling he's not in Oz anymore.

The reaction was rather divided yesterday when we reported Todd McFarlane was working on a "revisionist" take on The Wizard of Oz. McFarlane critics: breathe a sigh of relief (and McFarlane fans, furrow your brows). As it turns out, McFarlane has less involvement with the project than previously thought.

Project screenwriter Josh Olson made a comment on the Publisher's Weekly blog (which we've since confirmed to be authentic), clarifying his role and McFarlane's role for the movie:

"While it was Todd's idea to bring back Oz, and that idea sparked this whole process, I've never met him, never heard his take, and am not writing this script with anyone else. I love the Baum books, and leapt at the chance to bring those amazing stories and characters to a new audience.

The story I pitched to Warners - and that they hired me to write - is, I believe, faithful to the spirit and tone of those amazing books. I think even Todd would be happy to tell you, this movie has no connection whatsoever to those action figures, and when I say it will be darker, do not expect it to go beyond Harry Potter dark.

You'll be seeing many of your favorite characters return from the classic film, as well as meeting loads of Baum's other great characters. While I've created my own distinct plot, it's all built around Baum's characters, Baum's world, and Baum's vision. I think Oz fans will recognize my love for the source material, and will be very happy with the finished result."


A McFarlane Oz action figure.

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: The Beat

Comments

Azlam Orlandu

Azlam Orlandu

I'm a huge Oz fan myself and I'd like to see someone do a film that's closer to the books, something more like Return to Oz in fact. I'm not getting my hopes up, but I am crossing my fingers and I'm certainly not going to write this project off before I see it.

Aug 23 - 06:08 PM

bob funch

Matthew Schumann

I've always had a pet fantasy that these books would be done Anime, faithfully adapted and like 4 seasons worth of shows. Inuyasha or Avatar style.

Aug 23 - 07:20 PM

MPSolo

Matt Perloff

There used to be an American cartoon, wasn't there? I don't remember it too well.

And this could be a good idea. I mean, they're adapting from the books, not remaking the movie. Remaking the 1939 film would be a sin. XD

Aug 23 - 08:11 PM

Redghostrider

Craig Hofmann

OK, say what you will about Mcfarlane's creativity, but some of his line of mini-stautes (not really action figures) are ingenious and spectacular. Besides, even though his name is attached to the project, it doesn't necessarily mean that he is going to be solely responsible to write, quasi-direct, produce, etc.--like he did with the Spawn flick.

Now, while I agree that the characters should not be as dark as the line of toys (they are "dementedly" over-the-top), in order to have that mass appeal, and therefore not make it into strictly a horror movie; it'd still be intriguing to see what could be made from a more modern and/or darker twist to this story.

My suggestion? Get Tarsem Singh ("The Cell") to direct it. Using some of McFarlane's and his creative staff's ideas, for the look of the characters, and with the scenery/settings/backgrounds that Singh brings to the table, it could make for a serious mind trip.

Aug 23 - 07:20 PM

MPSolo

Matt Perloff

There used to be an American cartoon, wasn't there? I don't remember it too well.

And this could be a good idea. I mean, they're adapting from the books, not remaking the movie. Remaking the 1939 film would be a sin. XD

Aug 23 - 08:11 PM

robzass

Dan Barrett

That figure above is kind of misogynous

Aug 23 - 08:12 PM

Callpacas

Khim Lo

misogynist --- what's wrong with you ultra-feminists? unless your joking of course.

if its a girl, its misogynist. If its a guy its misandry. Sigh!!!! can;t you let girls enjoy fantasies of bondage? Men had let their own enjoy it. Quoting Depeche Mode " let's play Master & Servant)

Aug 25 - 12:28 PM

saiga6360

Hunter Rose

You're right. They should have made it clear that the female troll is the one on top.

Aug 23 - 09:32 PM

Bardego

Robert Hamer

"kind of" misogynist, robzass?

Anyway, this seems to be another case of a major studio needlessly remaking a classic film to make up for their lack of ideas. And don't give me that, "closer to the novel" crap. Those Oz books were terrible!

Between this and Justice League, Warner Bros is REALLY starting to piss me off...

Aug 23 - 11:53 PM

Segkee

Lochhead Seth

It's not misogynist. It's sadist(ic). Get your ists straight.

Aug 24 - 12:32 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

It's actually both. The two aren't mutually exclusive. Really don't see how it's ingenious though. This is for me just another example of someone trying to stand on the shoulder of giants.

Aug 24 - 06:00 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Of course I could be wrong, but look at the percentage of re-imaginings of works of genius. How often are they superior to the original?

Aug 24 - 06:01 AM

Rusty Broomhandle

Jaco Gerber

Bardego: Filmmakers aren't there to make moves just for you, you know...

If you hated the Oz books so much, then obviously this new movie will not be for you... move on, don't watch it, don't show interest.

For many hard core fans of the Oz books, the 1939 movie was blasphemous, and a chance to actually do the book justice is welcomed.

Aug 24 - 03:14 AM

cgcbooks

Robert Kimberlin

I'll just continue to watch the 1939 classic, thank you.

Aug 24 - 04:45 AM

Drunken Mastermind

John Doe

All I know is what conservative groups are going to freak out when this comes out!

Aug 24 - 04:57 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

It's actually both. The two aren't mutually exclusive. Really don't see how it's ingenious though. This is for me just another example of someone trying to stand on the shoulder of giants.

Aug 24 - 06:00 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Of course I could be wrong, but look at the percentage of re-imaginings of works of genius. How often are they superior to the original?

Aug 24 - 06:01 AM

PlanBFromOuterSpace

Rob Brown

In response to Big Brother, I think that a lot of originals get a pass BECAUSE they were the originals and they were successful, or maybe because they came out during a completely different time when sticking to the source material may not have been the top priority. That's not a knock on the quality at all, but nowadays, you can do a pitch-perfect adaptation of a novel that was previously made into a film, and people will more likely compare it to the previous movie than the book or whatever the original source material may have been.

In fact, the Wizard of Oz that everyone holds dear was a second pass, wasn't it? I guess there was an older silent version? ANYWAY, the Wizard of Oz that everyone knows was a revolutionary piece of work at the time and it was successful, so it became the standard. Nowadays, if it had been the first attempt at putting the Oz books to film, people might be wondering "What the hell is that?".

If someone wants to make a new version that's faithful to the books, more power to 'em. The "original" film will still be right there for everyone to see, and if you're a fan of the source material, you really can't lose...well, as long as the filmmakers actually care.

I don't like Todd McFarlane's name attached to ANYTHING really, even if it involves characters he created himself, at least when it comes to trying to tell a story. I've never been the biggest fan of his art, but that's always been his strong point. However, with his stories, it seems as though the visuals come first, and the words come later, not the other way around. They're more like music videos than feature films.

SOmeone mentioned his action figure lines, and said they're more like mini statues really, and that's a pretty fair assessment. Sure, a lot of them look cool, but upon closer examination, they don't hold up, there's no substance, they hardly move, and they don't do anything. Again, a fair description of a typical McFarlane project.

Aug 24 - 09:43 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

You're right, if you're going for a line for line adaption the 39 version is definately not the way to go, but I personally have never been one for line by line adaptions. Who wants to see a movie that your imagination has already shown you it your personal idealized form? The 39 version was one of those rare adaptions that actuallytranscended the source material and no it's not dark or gritty, but that obviously wasn't the intention. It was what it was and it was good enough at it to still make top 100 all time lists almost 70 years after its creation and judging from his previous works, this is just another losing effort for Macfarlane. Hopefully I'm wrong though. I loved the new Musical version Wicked. It caught the undertones on Baums work and still managed to incorporate much of the childlike wonder of the '39 movie.

Aug 25 - 01:16 AM

saiga6360

Hunter Rose

Peter David pwns Todd McFarlane

Aug 24 - 11:55 AM

Exode

? ?

That's a relief. I wonder how this guy will present the world of the books. Hopefully his vision has less of the child fantasy images seen throughout the first film adaption. That's one thing I will always hold against the film, there was no friggin Lollypop Guild in the books.

Aug 24 - 04:06 PM

Ruckas356

william mccloskey

boooo i want a really dark well acted oz. period.

Aug 24 - 06:03 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

You're right, if you're going for a line for line adaption the 39 version is definately not the way to go, but I personally have never been one for line by line adaptions. Who wants to see a movie that your imagination has already shown you it your personal idealized form? The 39 version was one of those rare adaptions that actuallytranscended the source material and no it's not dark or gritty, but that obviously wasn't the intention. It was what it was and it was good enough at it to still make top 100 all time lists almost 70 years after its creation and judging from his previous works, this is just another losing effort for Macfarlane. Hopefully I'm wrong though. I loved the new Musical version Wicked. It caught the undertones on Baums work and still managed to incorporate much of the childlike wonder of the '39 movie.

Aug 25 - 01:16 AM

Rash Hunt

Rash Hunt

Wicked > Oz

Aug 25 - 10:30 AM

blorenze

brian lorenzen

So... am I the only one turned on by that statue?

Aug 25 - 10:36 AM

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