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.