Robert Zemeckis in Talks to Direct THE WIZARD OF OZ Remake

by     Posted 3 years, 254 days ago

There are some movies that should never be remade.  One of those films is The Wizard of Oz.  However, it looks like nothing is sacred anymore in Hollywood since Warner Bros is now in early talks with Robert Zemeckis to direct a live-action remake of the beloved 1939 classic.  The proposed film will be so true to the classic film that Warner Bros is even planning on using the original script from the movie.  I hope that everyone is in agreement with me when I say that I think that this sounds terrible and completely unnecessary.  You can hit the jump to find out why Warner Bros might go through with the film along with a recap of what other Wizard of Oz films are in the works.

According to Deadline, this might be a move by Warner Bros so that they can compete with Disney’s The Great And Powerful Oz. That film, which Sam Raimi will direct, is currently in pre-production with Robert Downey Jr set to star as the wizard, who in this version is “a charlatan who’s part of a traveling circus but goes on a similar odyssey as Dorothy when he mysteriously lands in Oz.”

This isn’t the only Wizard of Oz related film that is currently in the works, though.  Earlier this year, Drew Barrymore signed on to direct and star in Surrender Dorothy, where she will play “the great, great granddaughter of Dorothy who has to learn how to use the power of those ruby red slippers to keep the Wicked Witch of the West from taking control of the kingdoms of Earth and Oz.”

We also heard rumors back in March that Warner Bros was planning two different Wizard of Oz related projects.  Screenwriter Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After) had been hired to write one of the film, which was going by Oz then, and that was really all that we knew about that film.  The other film had Josh Olson (A History of Violence) serving as screenwriter with Todd MacFarlane (creator of Spawn) on board to produce.  However, Steve later heard through a few of his sources that “nothing is happening on either project right now.”

It’ll definitely be interesting to see if Warner Bros and Robert Zemeckis have the guts to so closely remake a film that is as extremely beloved as The Wizard of Oz.  Zemeckis’ next film, a 3D motion-capture film based off of The Beatles 168 movie/album Yellow Submarine album, is set to open sometime in 2012.   He also recently signed on to direct his first live-action film in years with the time travel film, Timeless.

With so many Wizard of Oz projects currently in pre-production, it’s a good chance that the first one to get in front of the cameras is going to be the only one made. More as we hear it.




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  • Tommyz182

    Anyone else think this picture of Zemeckis oddly looks like Drew Carey?

    • Ringbearer1420

      Yes.

  • scarecrow

    Actually I dissagree with the topic. I would like to see a reboot of OZ. And its a shame Zemekis isnt using his mocap style for this, because of all the films, Oz seems perfect for it.

    I read a while back that this was gonna be remade as a huge LOTR style trilogy with fx by WETA. I’m dissapointed that thats not going ahead. Take the basic story and spin it around, add character and great fx and this SHOULD be better than the silly Alice in wonderland mess.

    I think re-using the original script is silly, as its prettyu basic. Good film when i was a kid, but hard to watch now.

    Reboot and expand i say! And leave out the musical elements too!

    • Ringbearer1420

      The book does have a part where the Tin Man battles and behead a pack of the witches wolves, where they ally with the flying monkeys, where they visit a land of miniature people made out of china, and where their confronted by little three stooges looking guys who can shoot their heads at people because their necks can extended 30 feet, oh yeah and the part where their chased by giant bear tiger hybrids…
      So you don’t need to even reboot and expand, just read the book.

  • Ringbearer1420

    The perfect choice would be a Wes Anderson. I think mo cap is a terrible idea. It’s works for a story like Beowulf with a 60 time gap in the middle, and Christmas Carol has been adapted at least a hundred times so anything goes really, but for this book, as far a mainstream film is concerned, their are only a handful of silent films, a musical version, and very 80′s (in the good way) mismatch.
    I think what’s called for is a director with a passion for the material and will put the material first. CGI in the world of Oz is just sorta soless, where as say stop motion would be amazing. If Tim Burton had done his Alice as a stop motion film I doubt I’d of had the problems with it I had. Who ever does it has to make the world real, and has to capture the illustration of Jon R. Neil who illustrated all but the first of the 14 original Oz books.

  • pills26

    please god no.

    I mean, who the hell could like movies and think this is good idea?

    Next they’ll be remaking Casablanca and Singin’ in the Rain. May as well shoot myself now. With my potato gun.

    • Ringbearer1420

      Except those are original Hollywood films, and this is a book, the first book in a series. It would be like killing James Bond of in Dr No, of if peter jackson made Lord of the Rings as one film where the eagles fly them straight to Mount Doom. Really, if people have genuine faith in the original 1939 version (oh wait that was a remake of the silent film version, which was a remake of the original silent version which was a remake of the stage musical which was a remake of the book! Oh my good burn your DVD’s of the Judy Garland version it’s not the original!)
      Films are art and if this 100 years old classic book, hailed as The American Fairy Tale can’t be redone time and time again, like it was in it’s day, can’t be remade then what can really? By that logic they never should of made another Batman after the 1930′s serial. Revisiting Oz would just replenish the cinematic genepool.

  • pills26

    please god no.

    I mean, who the hell could like movies and think this is good idea?

    Next they’ll be remaking Casablanca and Singin’ in the Rain. May as well shoot myself now. With my potato gun.

  • Ringbearer1420

    And might I add, if one of the most beloved childrens books is adapted as a musical (that guts half of it and never covered the sequels) then it definitely qualifies as remake material. I love the animated Hobbit, but it would be insane to think Jackson shouldn’t be allowed to remake it is silly. The Wizard of Oz is a great film, but it’s not definitive, and it it’s self is the third version of Oz on film, and the author himself staged several theatrical versions of the books. If you were a kid in 1910 Oz was like Star Wars, and was heavily promoted and merchandised. The 1939 version came out at the tail end of this saturation, almost 20 years after L. Frank Baum, the authors death, and after a additional 20 posthumous Oz books were released.
    So if you actually take the history of the Oz property into consideration, a new version is long, long overdue.

    • http://twitter.com/gimmesumsuga Mathieu David

      Whether The Wizard Of Oz is a faithful adaptation or not was never the topic of the article. The point being made is that it is a timeless classic, a near-perfect movie that has entertained countless generations. Just because a film is old doesn’t mean a remake is ‘overdue’ – films don’t have an expiration date on them. They’ll live long after we’re all gone.

      A straight remake would be sacrilegious. A new spin on the concept? That’s something else entirely. But it would have to be pretty special, as there have been endless Oz-inspired movies and TV shows over the years and it’s getting pretty dull.

      • Ringbearer1420

        Well I think anyone whos read the books knows their is a good franchise in their (if the right people were given the opportunity) and I wouldn’t like to see some director attempt to show his idea for oz down our collective throats. If you haven’t read the books then you don’t necessarily know weather or not it should be remade, but The Wizard of Oz is like the book Casino Royale, it’s brilliant, but the series expands and gets better. It’s a series, a whole alternate reality of characters and other countries other than Oz.

        Trust me, if some one did a remake that did the book justice it would be a film worth existing, and if it sucks then it will be forgotten and ridiculed, but what we have to gain from a good Oz film is a awful lot. Please check out these illustrations…

        http://vintageillustration.blogspot.com/2010/04/images-of-oz-from-john-r-neill-royal.html

        …and tell me that if theirs a chance of bringing this world to life it’s not worth it. Not to mention it might actually get a couple kids to read if they started adapting the books.

  • Ringbearer1420

    And might I add, if one of the most beloved childrens books is adapted as a musical (that guts half of it and never covered the sequels) then it definitely qualifies as remake material. I love the animated Hobbit, but it would be insane to think Jackson shouldn’t be allowed to remake it is silly. The Wizard of Oz is a great film, but it’s not definitive, and it it’s self is the third version of Oz on film, and the author himself staged several theatrical versions of the books. If you were a kid in 1910 Oz was like Star Wars, and was heavily promoted and merchandised. The 1939 version came out at the tail end of this saturation, almost 20 years after L. Frank Baum, the authors death, and after a additional 20 posthumous Oz books were released.
    So if you actually take the history of the Oz property into consideration, a new version is long, long overdue.

  • Mike

    This is a horrendous idea. What’s next, Gone With the Wind?

    Leave it the fuck be, Hollywood.

  • Mike

    This is a horrendous idea. What’s next, Gone With the Wind?

    Leave it the fuck be, Hollywood.

  • Neo_3

    Is this the one produced by Temple Hill?

  • http://twitter.com/gimmesumsuga Mathieu David

    What has happened to Robert Zemeckis?! You would have thought that the recent reissue of Back To The Future would remind him he was once a great filmmaker. There have been so many versions of Oz over the years (including a recent TV one with Zooey Deschanel) that it honestly has been done to death. As the article says, hopefully only one of these will make it to the big screen, if at all.

    • Ringbearer1420

      CGI is the opiate of talented directors.

  • Neo_3

    This Oz could make a 2013 release, but Downey’s Oz would be for 2014?

  • Alex

    If anyone’s going to direct something like this, I think it should be Zemeckis. However, I don’t really want to see a Wizard of Oz where Tom Hanks plays the Scarecrow. It’s something that shouldn’t be done, regardless of who directs; regardless of what script they use. It’s a film that should remain untouched. I feel like Warner Bros is becoming desperate, losing their biggest franchise (Harry Potter) next summer, and they’re next-biggest franchise (Batman) the following summer. So they’re probably willing to do anything that MIGHT make them good money. And this probably will. But it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

  • John

    this is bull####, and RDJ hasn’t agreed to do OZ movie, those are just rumors

  • Agarci3

    It’s amazing that no one sees what Warner Bros is up to. They are setting up the next Harry Potter and Oz has many books and adventures to tap into.

    • Ringbearer1420

      Their are people who are 100 who would probably be excited to see Land of Oz, Ozma of Oz, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, etc. etc. brought to film finally.

  • Pingback: Could Robert Zemeckis be Remaking The Wizard of Oz? | Movie Buzzers

  • joanna

    nonononononono!!!!!!!!! If you want to relive the wizard of oz, read the books. Don’t destroy a classic with today’s actors and actresses. They are good, but this type of film requires something that is sadly gone out of hollywood today. then again, with a remake of a classic if its good, we could return to the golden era of beautiful multi talented stars that everyone loves. maybe this is the kick up the pants that the industry needs. no more heiresses and rappers stealing the spotlight!!! (or trying to anyway) whos with me?

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