Because the world needed yet another freaking Wizard of Oz re-imagining/sequel/prequel, director Mike Johnson (Corpse Bride) has signed on to helm the CG/stop-motion flick Oz Wars for Vanguard Films. Variety reports that the script (written by Rob Moreland and Athena Gam), “is a transformation of the Oz narrative, with Dorothy caught up in a whirlwind of warrior witches, black magic, martial arts and monsters against a contemporary backdrop.” Johnson (who also worked as an animator on The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach) says his take on the Land of Oz re-imagines the world as “dark, slick, sexy and dangerous.” Throw in the word “sticky” and Oz Wars may as well take place on the floor of a nightclub.
Hit the jump for what Vanguard chief John Williams had to say on the film and a refresher on the other Wizard of Oz projects in development.
Vanguard Films head says “new stop-motion software will enable Oz Wars to be made at “an unprecedentedly economical cost point.” Vanguard recently hired Kung Fu Panda director John Stevenson to helm the animated films Alien Rock Band and Rotten Island.
Here’s a brief rundown of the other Wizard of Oz-based projects currently in development:
- Oz the Great and Powerful directed by Sam Raimi and starring Robert Downey Jr.
- A possible remake of the 1939 The Wizard of Oz.
- Surrender Dorothy directed by and starring Drew Barrymore.
- Currently in development hell: Oz written by Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After) and an untitled adaptation from Todd MacFarlane
- An adaptation of the musical Wicked.