It appears that the creepy world of The Wizard of Oz that everyone wanted to see from Spawn creator Todd McFarlane may not be coming our way any time soon. A scoop from Pajiba points to Warner Brothers passing by McFarlane and moving forward with a take that was once thought to be disliked by those involved.
Back in October was the last time that we heard from McFarlane about the progress of his film, and things seemed to be moving forward (Read: Todd McFarlane Talks The Status Of His Twisted ‘Wizard Of Oz’; Shares Story Details). He claimed that he was developing the film with A History of Violence scribe Josh Olson, whose first script was too light and “too Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” for his darker vision, and that rewrites were happening. The interesting thing about that situation, is that it sounded like McFarlane had sold Warner Brothers on his idea, and that he was perfectly okay with the fact that he would have to sacrifice some of his extreme ideas, saying “I just found it odd that they bought that cool, creepy pitch and now they’re taking a step back.” This quote is now even more interesting with the revelation that Warner Brothers is now leaning MORE toward Olson’s script, and running away from the darker idea all together.
Click on over to read a brief description of the Oz that we just might be seeing in the near future.
After McFarlane made the above remarks, Olson was quick to respond, saying that he was never hired to develop the Twisted Land of Oz movie, but his own vision that was faithful to both the book and the ’39 version. This does appear to be the case, and it looks like this will be the path chosen, which if I’m not mistaken, would put a very disgruntled and angry Todd McFarlane on the outside looking in.
I’m sure that you just can’t wait to hear a description of the movie that was initially too light and that now looks to be on the way, so here it is!
It’s a modern-day sequel. The story centers on Dorothy Neil, a bright and ambitious young lawyer for a prestigious law firm in Chicago. Neil is the grand-daughter of Dorothy Gale, who is now an old woman living in Kansas and telling her tales about her time in the land of Oz to a new generation of kids. However, trouble is afoot in Oz, as a new witch is destroying the magic that keeps the entire place running.
While babysitting her boss’ kid, the kid and Dorothy Neil are brought back to Oz and united with the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow and tasked with killing an evil witch and restoring order in Oz.
To me, this just sounds like a sequel that uses almost the exact same recipe as the first film, but in a modernized fashion. McFarlane was adamant about creating a whole new vision so the classic 1939 film would stay untouched, as it should be. In this argument, he is absolutely right, and this description makes me very nervous. If they get someone who’s a great director and great with visuals, then yes, there is still hope for another great family film, but that all remains severely unseen. One thing that is known is that Olson’s script is still getting some rewrites done, and that — get this — Warner Brothers want it just a LITTLE bit darker. Wacky executives.
MGM’s 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz is one of the movies that many would consider untouchable when it comes to remakes, much like Casablanca, Citizen Kane, and Gone with the Wind. The funny thing about the classic Oz, is that many movie and stage adaptations of Frank L. Baum‘s 1900 book were made before it ever came to be. That paired with the fantastical content make it a prime candidate for many different visions as time moves on, which we’ve seen in movies like Return to Oz, The Wiz, and SyFy’s TV special Tin Man.
So where do you guys stand? Is this another fatal Hollywood mistake, or could Olson’s modernized Wizard of Oz idea work?
[Source: via io9]