Difference between revisions of "Oz News"
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The contents of this issue will be listed in the coming days. Keep checking back!
contents of this issue will be listed in the coming days. Keep checking back!
Revision as of 16:38, 28 June 2021
(I will update this page when there is news to tell. Any news older than a year is dropped at the next update. If you have news to report, please e-mail me.)
- 1 June 18, 2021: The Baum Bugle, Spring 2021 Issue
- 2 May 17, 2021: Oziana 2021: The Fiftieth Anniversary Issue
- 3 March 24, 2021: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"/"What a Wonderful World" Added to National Recording Registry
- 4 February 28, 2021: The Baum Bugle Winter 2020
- 5 December 10, 2020: Chris Dulabone, 1964-2020
- 6 November 23, 2020: Myrna Swensen, 1926-2020
- 7 November 20, 2020: David L. Greene, 1944-2020
- 8 November 1, 2020: Books of Wonder Moves
- 9 October 31, 2020: Sir Sean Connery, 1930-2020
- 10 October 30, 2020: The Baum Bugle Autumn 2020 and Oziana 2020
- 11 August 15, 2020: International Wizard of Oz Club Awards
- 12 August 1, 2020: The Baum Bugle Spring 2020 issue
- 13 July 18, 2020: The 2020 Winkie Award
- 14 Rumor Control
June 18, 2021: The Baum Bugle, Spring 2021 Issue
In this issue:
- The front, inside front, and inside back covers reproduce concept art for The Yellow Brixx Road, a proposed series by Filmation in the 1980s that never came to pass. You'll find out more about this show inside.
- In "Letters", Oz Club President Jane Albright reproduces the first letter she ever wrote to the Club's then-Secretary, Fred M. Meyer, as she reminisces about being in the Club for fifty years. Meanwhile, Bugle editor Sarah K. Crotzer discusses the contents of this issue.
- In "The Bugle Bulletin":
- Jon M. Chu, whose recent films include Crazy Rich Asians and In the Heights, takes over directing the movie version of the Wicked musical.
- Betty Ann Bruno, one of the children who played a background Munchkin, has published her memoir, The Munchkin Diary: My Personal Yellow Brick Road.
- American McGee, who tried to develop an Oz video game twenty years ago, is trying again with a video game/TV hybrid project called Oz: Adventures.
- A clue about the writings of L. Frank Baum—but not Oz—shows up in an episode of Jeopardy!
- The New Line Cinema movie of The Wizard of Oz, scheduled to be directed by Nicole Kassell.
- Margaret Hamilton's former home in Los Angeles is sold for $2,300,000.
- A house in Syracuse, New York, once thought to be the one where L. Frank Baum first met his soon-to-be wife, Maud Gage, is also sold.
- Race Leys Junior School in Bedworth, England, gets an Oz-themed makeover.
- "Beyond the Shifting Sands" gives notice of the recent passings of these people connected to Oz:
- William Randall Beard, the playwright whose works included Beyond the Rainbow: Garland at Carnegie Hall].
- Kathleen Krull, the children's book authors whose works included The Road to Oz: Twists, Turns, Bumps, and Triumphs in th eLife of L. Frank Baum.
- Ronnee Sass, the Hollywood publicist whose work with Warner Bros. included marketing the 65th and 70th anniversary releases of The Wizard of Oz.
- Jack Townsend, who created one of he first pairs of reproduction Ruby Slippers available to purchase.
- "Through the Tube!" has the following highlights from YouTube:
More contents of this issue will be listed in the coming days. Keep checking back!
May 17, 2021: Oziana 2021: The Fiftieth Anniversary Issuethis link.
In this issue:
- The front cover, "Strolling Down Memory Lane" by Alejandro Garcia, depicts a number of characters from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the styles of several different iconic Oz illustrators.
- The inside front cover reproduces the letter from Harvey Plotnick, then-President of the Henry Regnery Company, successors to Oz publishers Reilly and Lee, from the first issue of Oziana in 1971 that gave permission for the Club to use characters and locations from the Oz books.
- Carrying on from the previous issue, "The Wizards of Silver and Gold in Oz: Part 2" by Nathan M. DeHoff and Joe Bongiorno resolves the cliffhanger ending from part 1 and wraps the whole tale up.
- "The Butter Lamb of Oz" by Nathan M. DeHoff, illustrated by David Valentin, shows the results of what happens when Jinjur must paint a portrait.
- "A Week with Mr. Baum" by Laura DeNooyer, illustrated by Spinner Martin, tells the story of a lonely girl who makes a special friend at the Macatawa resort on Lake Michigan in the early days of the twentieth century.
- "Heartless" by Templeton Moss, illustrated by Darrell Colt Spradlyn, looks at the romance between Nick Chopper and Nimmee Amee.
- Christmas, Toys, and Oz" by Nathan M. DeHoff, illustrated by Mitchell Mayle, sees several Ozian and Thompsonian sea captains embark on a Christmas adventure.
- In a tribute to the late Chris Dulabone, "Buckethead in Oz" by Nathan M. DeHoff sees the title character come to Oz for good.
- In a departure for Oziana, Dulabone is also remembered by friends and family in the magazine's first non-fiction feature.
- Robert A. Baum remembers the trunk kept by his Grandmother Edna in "The Trunk in the Attic".
- The back cover, by David Valentin, depicts a scene, in color, from this issue's story "The Butter Lamb of Oz".
March 24, 2021: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"/"What a Wonderful World" Added to National Recording Registry
The Library of Congress announced the 2020 class for the National Recording Registry today, and one of the additions is the medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"/"What a Wonderful World" by Hawai'ian singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, released as a single in 1993. The National Recording Registry was set up to showcase and preserve significant American recordings, and was started in 2002 under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000. Kamakawiwo’ole's recording joins Judy Garland's original 1939 single of "Over the Rainbow", enlisted in 2014, on the registry.
February 28, 2021: The Baum Bugle Winter 2020
In this issue:
- The front cover reproduces an original Dick Martin watercolor from 1988.
- The inside front cover is an unused jacket illustration Martin did in 1961.
- In "Letters", Oz Club President Jane Albright talks about how Oz fans have weathered the coronavirus pandemic and found new ways to gather and express themselves, while Bugle editor Sarah K. Crotzer previews what's in the issue at hand.
- In "The Bugle Bulletin":
- Stephen Daldrey exits as director of the Wicked movie.
- The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of podcast devotes an episode to the Ruby Slippers.
- Even though it was cancelled, Boomerang had a third season of Dorothy and the Wizard ofOz up its sleeve, shown in 2020.
- Movie star Richard Gere bought a New York City condo previously owned by Margaret Hamilton.
- The new comic book The O. Z. was successfully funded via Kickstarter.
- Popmatters.com has an interview with Broadway's original Wiz, André de Shields.
- "Beyond the Shifting Sands" remembers these recently deceased Ozites:
- Chris Dulabone, prolific Oz author and publisher.
- David L. Greene, one of the charter members of the International Wizard of Oz Club and an important Oz researcher and writer for over fifty years.
- Alison Lurie, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist whose work often invoked her love of Oz.
- Harry Naught, whose long illustrating career included Little Golden Books adaptations of The Road to Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, and The Tin Woodman of Oz.
- Joel Schumacher, the prolific Hollywood director who also had an early screenwriting credit with the film adaptation of The Wiz.
- Myrna Swensen, wife of Movie Munchkin soldier Clarence Swensen who frequently appeared with him at Oz events.
- "Through the Tube" presents these treasures from YouTube:
- The twenty-fifth anniversary of The Wizard of Oz on Ice.
- The 2017 Fire and Ice Festival in Somerset, Pennsylvania took on an Ozzy theme for the festivities.
- Behind the scenes at The Wonderful Winter of Oz, a 2019 pantomime in Pasadena.
- "Awards and Honors" recognizes the 2020 winner of the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, Gina Wickwar.
- Michael Patrick Hearn examines Glinda of Oz, the final volume of the Founding Fourteen, in "L. Frank Baum's Farewell to Oz".
- Robert B. Luehrs examines the relationship between Glinda and Oz in "The Sorceress, the Goddess, and the Matriarchate".
- Scott Cummings presents several contemporary reviews of Glinda of Oz in the latest installment of "Oz Under Scrutiny".
- Peter E. Hanff delves into the Oz Club's archives to examine how John R. Neill created the color plate of Glinda reading her records in The Marvelous Land of Oz. (The original line drawing, before it is colored, is reproduced on the inside back cover, while the back cover is the picture in color, based in part from an original photo proof.)
- Dina Schiff Massachi looks at the career of the actress who played Glinda in the film version of The Wiz in "Lena Horne: Learning to Believe".
- "Labor of Love: An Interview with Gili Bar-Hillel Semo" talks to the woman who translates, publishes, and sells Oz books in Israel, how she came to also record the audio books, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected what she does.
- Angelica Shirley Carpenter tries to fill in some of the blanks of the life of L. Frank Baum's wife in "Finding Maud".
- In "Oz in the Arts", Rosemary Jones reviews a virtual Oz play, "OZ.ORG", presented during the 2020 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. (You can watch an interview with the director and preview of the show right here.)
- New Oz books reviewed, or at least mentioned, in "The Bugle Review":
- Bedtime Classics: The Wizard of Oz board book, illustrated by Carly Gledhill, reviewed by Garrett Kilgore.
- Sky Island: A Trot & Cap'n Bill Adventure graphic novel by Amy Chu and Janet K. Lee, reviewed by J. L. Bell.
- Adrian: A Lifetime of Movie Glamour, Art and High Fashion by Leonard Stanley, reviewed by Paul Miles Schneider.
- Abby in Oz (Whatever After: Special Edition0 by Sarah Mlynowski.
- Flying Monkeys Cookbook by Aunt Deb.
- The Good Witch of the South by T. C. Bartlett.
- The Inventor of Oz by Kaitlyn Hawker.
- The Kingdom of Fairytales Wizard of Oz series by Emma Savant and J. A. Armitage: Volume 1: King of Traitors, Volume 2: Heir of Fugitives, Volume 3: Throne of Emeralds, and Volume 4: God of Storms.
- A Nightmare in Oz by David M. Keyes.
- No Place Like Home by Susan Wackerbarth.
- Orphans of Oz: A Mother's Adventure by Marie Micaela.
- The Poetry Book of Oz by L. Frank Baum and Tynker Smith.
- The Shaman of Oz by Larry Springfield, Jr..
- The Silver Spurs of Oz by Erica Schultz, illustrated by Omar Lozano.
- Stolen to Oz: Toto and Miss Jennie in Oz (Without Dorothy0,, by Alan Lindsay.
- A Taste of Oz by Robin Blasberg.
- The Teachers of Oz: Leading with Wisdom, Heart, Courage, and Spirit by Herbie Raad and Dr. Nathan Lang-Raad.
- The Twin Witches of Oz by Amanda D. Wallace.
- The Wizard of Menopoz by Deborah Monk.
- The Wizard of Oz Puzzle Book by Fabiana Attanasio.
- And Peter E. Hanff writes about the man who, among other things, invigorated and modernized the Oz Club's journal in "Building a Better Bugle: A Legacy of David L. Greene" as a tribute and obituary.
Also included with this issue:
- The ninth issue of The Oz Gazette, the Oz publication for younger Oz fans, which includes:
- Editor Scarecrow's attempts to create a self-writing, self-publishing newspaper (with less-than-satisfactory results).
- A look at the earliest existing Oz movie.
- "Ask Glinda" continues the adventures of Katie Jones on her visit to Oz.
- "What Did the Woggle-Bug Say?" poses another ponderable problem.
- And an interview with The Oz Gazette and The Baum Bugle illustrator Mark Manley.
- A craft project to create Glinda's skeropythrope, a magical device she used in Glinda of Oz.
All Oz Club members who receive this issue are advised that this is the last issue for the 2020 membership year, and anyone wishing to continue to receive the Bugle should send in their membership dues (which can now be done online).
December 10, 2020: Chris Dulabone, 1964-2020Tails of the Cowardly Lion and Friends, until he recently had his books printed on demand via Lulu.com.
November 23, 2020: Myrna Swensen, 1926-2020
Myrna Swensen, the "Munchkin by marriage" who never got to go to Oz but was a big part of its legacy anyway has passed away. She was all set to play a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz, but illness prevented her from taking the job. She did marry a Munchkin, however, soldier Clarence Swensen, in 1945, and they raised three daughters. When the Munchkin actors were discovered by fans and began appearing at Oz events around the world, Myrna came along to support her husband, and was welcomed by Ozians everywhere. Even after Clarence passed away, Myrna kept going to Oz events for as long as she was able. She is survived by her three daughters and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
(Family information courtesy the Ausin American-Statesman.)
November 20, 2020: David L. Greene, 1944-2020
November 1, 2020: Books of Wonder Moves
Books of Wonder, the New York City children's bookstore that has been one of the greatest friends Oz has had for the past forty years, has moved! They lost their lease on their original location on 18th Street in Manhattan, but they were able to find a new location quickly, and it's really close. So now you can visit them at 42 West 17th St., just a block away. They're still in the process of completely unpacking, so there may be a few boxes lying around, but the shelves are full and the staff still knows their stuff. Their second location, at 217 West 84th St., is still there, too. But if you're not going to be in the neighborhood any time soon, they still have mail order, including an extensive catalog of Oz items, many of which they've published themselves.
October 31, 2020: Sir Sean Connery, 1930-2020
Sir Sean Connery, the award-winning Scottish actor who most famously originated the role of James Bond on film, passed away today at his home in the Bahamas. He was 90 years old. Besides playing Bond in seven movies, Connery won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in The Untouchables, a Best Actor BAFTA for The Name of the Rose and a BAFTA Fellowship, and a Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for The Untouchables as well as the Henrietta Award in 1972 as World Film Favorite — Male, the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1995, a Kennedy Center Honor in 1999, and the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. He was also knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000. He will also be remembered by Oz fans, however, as Zed, the main protagonist who brings death to an indolent immortal community in the 1974 cult classic film Zardoz.
October 30, 2020: The Baum Bugle Autumn 2020 and Oziana 2020
In this issue:
- The front cover reproduces a concept painting by Michael Ploog of Dorothy meeting the Nome King in Return to Oz.
- Both inside covers feature more Return to Oz concept art, these by Harley Jessup.
- In "Letters", Oz Club President Jane Albright waxes on how the coronavirus pandemic and cancellation of Oz events around the country has resulted in all kinds of new connections online, while Bugle editor Sarah K. Crotzer declares the magazine is bringing Halloween to its readers this year while listing the efforts of those to bring it together.
- In "The Bugle Bulletin":
- The passing of graphic designer Milton Glaser. As well as the iconic "I ❤️ NY" logo, he also gave the world the iconic design for the Broadway production of The Wiz, showing a swirling dancer in silhouette.
- Justin Schiller, founder of the International Wizard of Oz Club, announces the closing of his antiquarian and collectibles children's bookshop after more than six decades in business and the auction of the remaining collection, at the same time he is appearing in The Booksellers, a documentary about the New York City rare books community.
- Reproductions of dust jackets for many editions of the Oz books and other books by L. Frank Baum are now available at (where else?) https://www.dustjackets.com/.
- The International Wizard of Oz Club has loaned two pieces of original art, one by W. W. Denslow from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and one by John R. Neill from The Marvelous Land of Oz, to the Peninsula Fine Arts Center of Newport News, Virginia, for the exhibit "Surrealism in Children's Books", a subexhibit of their current show, "Masters of Surrealism: Picasso, Dali, and Miro".
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, translated into Esperanto, was used as the data to test new techniques in storing information using DNA in experiments at the University of Texas.
- Despite the current pandemic, Oz venues such as The Oz Museum in Wamego, Kansas; All Things Oz in Chittenango, New York; and The Land of Oz theme park in Beech Mountain, North Carolina have figured out ways to keep going.
- "Beyond the Shifting Sands" remembers Oz luminaries Bill Edmonds, a long-time attendee of the Winkie Conventions; Timothy Graphenreed, co-writer of the musical numbers "Tornado" and "Emerald City (Pssst)" for The Wiz; and Nancy Petrasko, sister of the late Fred Meyer, long time secretary of the International Wizard of Oz Club.
- "Through the Tube" found the following Return to Oz-related videos on YouTube:
- An interview with Pons Maar, the Head Wheeler (among other parts), from the "To Oz? To Oz!" virtual convention.
- Jean Marsh at the London Comic Con.
- Doug Aberle, an artist at Claymation, revealing the secrets behind the destruction of the Nome King, from this year's virtual version of OzCon International.
- Sarah K. Crotzer praises the subject of this issue in "Outside Over There: In Praise of Walter Murch's Return to Oz".
- Nick Campbell looks at the life and career of the man who bent himself double to be the body of Tik-Tok in "Dancer in the Dark: Michael Sundin in Oz".
- Karen Diket examines some of the unpleasant underlying medical issues of the movie in "Unpleasant Dreams: The Role of Electroshock Therapy in Return to Oz".
- Kevin M. Kern interviews an artist who worked on concept art and storyboards for Return to Oz in "Brooding and Beautiful: A Conversation with Harley Jessup". The article is illustrated with many examples of Jessup's Return to Oz work from the Disney archives, some reproduced in color, and most having never been published before.
- Coyote Shook takes a different viewpoint on the movie in "30 Beautiful Heads: Return to Oz Through a Disability Lens".
- Nick Campbell examines three different book versions of the same movie in "There Must Have Been Some Magic Words: Novelizations of Return to Oz".
- Howard Berry talks to the director about his experience with Return to Oz, among other career highlights involving one of Great Britain's most acclaimed film studios, in "Return to Elstree: Walter Murch and Oz at Elstree Studios".
- And finally, the back cover reproduces a painting of the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion used as set dressing in Return to Oz.
Also enclosed with this issue:
- A Tin Woodman marionette.
- The latest issue of The Oz Gazette, the newsletter for younger Oz fans (no matter what their actual age is), which includes:
- A report on past Halloween shenanigans in Oz.
- An editorial from the new editor, the Scarecrow, about how he thinks he's doing so far.
- A look back at a popular movie in the Emerald City at this time of year, Return to Oz (1985).
- "Ask Glinda" sees a previous correspondent catching the sorceress up on what's happening to her, including her meeting with the Demon of Electricity.
- After an absence of about 115 years, the return of "What Did the Woggle-Bug Say?"
- An interview with Jack Pumpkinhead.
In this issue:
- The front cover by Able Tong features many favorite Oz characters dressed to the nines in celebration of Oz's 120th anniversary and the fiftieth issue of Oziana.
- "Zinnia's Wish" by Suren Oganessian, with illustrations by Mitchell Mayle, sees a Flutterbudget named Zinnia coming to the Emerald City in an effort to fulfill her heart's desire, but it's probably not something much of the rest of Oz wants. (Mayle also provides a color illustration for the story on the back cover.)
- "A Use for Jack's Pumpkins" is the first recipe ever published in Oziana.
- "Dinner at the Del" by Robert Baum tells of a meeting between the author's great-grandfather and an old sailor at the Hotel Del Coronado that would have long-reaching effects.
- "The Wizards of Silver and Gold in Oz: Part 1" by Nathan DeHoff and Joe Bongiorno, illustrated by Dennis Anfuso, tells a tale of Quiberon and an ozoplane. And yes, it ends on a cliffhanger, to be resolved in the 2021 issue.
- "Polychrome's Sky School" by Paul Dana, illustrate by Sam Milazzo, shows us just how Polychrome learned how to do magic.
August 15, 2020: International Wizard of Oz Club Awards
This evening, the International Wizard of Club presented its annual awards at 2Oz? 2Oz! which is this year's national Oz convention, held online for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The winners are:
- The Fred Otto Prize for short fiction went to "The Flutterbudget Revolt" by Suren Oganessian in first place, and "The Sea Fairies Lost Chapter: Trot and the Sleeper" by Erica Olivera in second.
- The C. Warren Hollister Prize for non-fiction went to "No Place Like Oz" by Kathryn Sadakierski in first place, and “Lessons in Personality Integration from the Movies The Wizard of Oz and The Wiz” by Mackenzie Littledale winning second place.
- The Rob Roy MacVeigh Prize for visual arts went to "The King of Beasts' Conquest" by Michael de Jesus in first place (below, left), and "Dr. Pipt" by David Valentin in second place (below, right).
And the Club's highest award, the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, for contributions to Oz and the Club's mission, went to Gina Wickwar, author of The Hidden Prince of Oz and Toto of Oz, and short stories for Oziana, as well as her work for the Club as Secretary and in other capacities. Here's the video of the presentation, with testimonials and reactions:
August 1, 2020: The Baum Bugle Spring 2020 issue
In this issue:
- The covers celebrate the Broadway Celebrates Oz photograph series, with Dorothy and her friends on the front cover, the Wicked With of the West on the back, and costume sketches and designs on the inside covers.
- "Letters" sees Oz Club President Jane Albright and Baum Bugle editor Sarah Krotzer talk about the latest Oz issues.
- "The Bugle Bulletin" brings us news of:
- The #LivingRoomTheatre challenge by Playbill magazine, and the Ozzy results of the first week.
- The Wizard of Oz takes on a new cinematic life during the coronavirus pandemic as a staple at drive-in theaters, as well as in movie theaters in Japan.
- The Oz art of Tim Wolak.
- Over the Rainbow: The Rock Ballet is used as a call for social justice in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
- A tribute to Hollywood icons, including Judy Garland as Dorothy, as a mural in Miamisburg, Ohio.
- The new webcomic Escape from Oz.
- "Through the Tube" presents the latest Oz findings on YouTube:
- Family home movies from the 1970s of the Land of Oz theme park in North Carolina.
- a tour of Dorothy's House, the tourist attraction in Liberal, Kansas.
- The Spirit of Oz troupe performing at Storybook Land in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
- "Beyond the Shifting Sands" notes the passing in March of actor David Schramm; best known as Roy Biggins in Wings, he also played W. W. Denslow in the 1990 TV movie The Dreamer of Oz.
- "Broadway Melody of Oz" looks at the Broadway Celebrates Oz photograph series, how it came about, and how it came together (including a link to more photos, video, and commentiary).
- "Collecter's Corner" by David Diket looks at the View-Master's reels of The Wizard of Oz.
- Anil Tambwekar looks at the career of a noted children's author of the twentieth century and her near brush with the Emerald city in "Mary Dickerson Donahey: Almost Royal Historian of Oz".
- In his "Lost Art of Oz" column, Brady Schwind looks at the illustrations that became the pages 170-171 double-page spread of The Patchwork Girl of Oz.
- Michael Gessel tells the story of the creation and growth of a park exhibit on the shores of Lake Michigan devoted to Oz in "The Holland Oz Project".
- Dina Schiff Massachi presents a round up of students from her class about The Wizard of Oz at UNC-Charlotte in "Tomorrow's Scholars Today".
- "Oz Under Quarantine! Oz Community Events—At Home" presents a round-up of how Oz events worldwidewide, not being able to gather in person this year, have shifted gears and presented virtual events.
- Reviewed in "Oz in the Arts":
- Hit the Bricks, the podcast telling a new tale about Oz.
- Fantastic Journey to Oz, the English-dubbed and re-Ozzified version of the Russian animated film version of Урфин Джюс и его Деревянные Солдаты. This is set up as an original sequel to The Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy's namesake granddaughter goes to Oz to help the Scarecrow overthrow an evil magician and his band of wooden soldiers who have overtaken the country.
- In "The Bugle Review":
- Cheshire Crossing by Andy Weir and Sarah Andersen, reviewed by Peter Schulenberg.
- The Haunted Castle of Oz by Marcus Mébès, illustrated by Kamui Ayami, reviewed by Alan Wise
- What Is the Story of The Wizard of Oz? by Kirsten Andersen, illustrated by Robert Squier, reviewed by Angelica Shirley Carpenter.
- The new SeaWolf Press editions of The Royal Book of Oz, Kabumpo in Oz, The Cowardly Lion of Oz, Grampa in Oz, and The Sea Fairies, noted by Sarah K. Crotzer.
- "Adventures in Oz" looks back at The Wizard of Oz in Concert twenty-five years after its debut, written by Christina Maffa. (And if you've never seen this all-star benefit production of The Wizard of Oz, this is your chance!)
Also coming along with this issue:
- A flyer for this year's national Oz convention, To Oz? To Oz!, being held for the first time online.
- This issue's craft is a paper version of one of the Three Adepts at Magic, from Glinda of Oz, in the form of a fish. (Which fish it is depends on how you color it!)
- And The Oz Gazette, the newsletter for younger Oz fans (of all ages) features:
- An interview with Polychrome, the Rainbow's Daughter.
- A look back at the 1939 MGM film version of The Wizard of Oz.
- A contest to draw the Jitterbug.
- The Scarecrow, the new editor of The Oz Gazette, introduces himself in the Editorial.
- The news flash that Aujah, one of the Three Adepts, decided to go exploring the world by becoming a fish again.
July 18, 2020: The 2020 Winkie Award
OzCon International, the world's longest running Oz event, met for the first time online as a virtual event, due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This did not prevent the convention from presenting its highest honor, the Winkie Award, to Colin Ayres. Colin only started attending OzCon relatively recently, but he quickly jumped in and involved himself deeply, putting on many panels and presentations. Two years ago, he became vice chair, succeeding as chair last year, and decided to serve as chair again for a second year. Little did he know that one of the decisions he would have to make would be to cancel the convention and move it all online! But even before that happened, his fellow OzCon attendees voted him as the one who deserves the award.
(Because of the many questions I am asked about possible forthcoming Oz projects or other bits of pseudo-news, I have added this section to answer some of these inquiries.)
The previously announced release date for the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical version of Wicked turns out to have been premature—again. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic shuffling release schedules around, the original first-postponed December 22, 2021 release date was given over to Sing 2. So the Wicked movie is on hold again, but it is still in development, although it has no definitive release date yet. The delay was so long that director Stephen Daldrey left the project on October 20, 2020. On February 2, 2021, Jon M. Chu, director of Crazy Rich Asians and the forthcoming In the Heights was announced as the new director.
The latest Oz projects to be announced in Hollywood: Cheshire Crossing, the graphic novel by Andy Weir and Sarah Anderson, optioned by Amblin Partners (see this report); and an animated musical adaptation of the book Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz, where the story is told from Toto's point of view, to be produced at Warner Bros. (see this source).
Okay, yes, word has leaked out that Warner Bros. tried to talk Robert Zemeckis into directing a remake of The Wizard of Oz, using the same screenplay as the famous 1939 Judy Garland version. Zemeckis already rejected the idea. This probably puts the idea on the back burner for a while, and based on the extreme negative reaction the idea got, I suspect it will stay there. Rumors of this have surfaced again, but appear to be the result of someone finding the old story and running it again.
It's getting harder and harder to keep up with all of the currently planned Oz movie and television projects. Bear in mind that at this stage, most of it is speculation and/or not even in pre-production, or possibly even a game of "Telephone". But here are some of the current Oz movies that could be coming to your local theater in the next few years:
- The Road to Oz, a movie biopic about the life of L. Frank Baum and how he created Oz, starring Eddie Redmayne as Frank. (See reports here and here.)
- Dark Oz 3-D, based on the old Caliber comic book.
- A non-musical, faithful adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from New Line and Temple Hill.
- The Oz Wars, which would have the witches fighting for control of the Emerald City while the Wizard leads the resistance.
- John Boorman's animated adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz seems to be on track for release — in France. Once it's released, an English-language release will likely come out soon afterwards. (However, in a recent interview, Boorman admitted that the project has stalled due to lack of funding.)
- Oz: Return to the Emerald City was one of two possible competing projects at Warner Bros. This original sequel may now be shopped around to other studios, or turned into a novel.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a low-budget independent production from Barnyard Studios and Used Productions. This is very much a shoestring production, which is looking for money and actors. But its Kickstarter campaign to raise the last money it needed was a success, so it may be finished soon.
- Legend of Oz, a modern retelling of The Wizard of Oz from Valley Wind Productions in Ottawa.
- Oz, a new telling of The Wizard of Oz.
- A still unnamed horror movie set in the 1920s with Dorothy meeting Alice in Bedlam Asylum.
- Young Santa., based on L. Frank Baum's book The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus and directed by Sean McNamara.
- How the Wizard Came to Oz, based on two books by Donald Abbott.
- Not entirely Oz, strictly speaking, but the Judy Garland biography Get Happy may be made into a movie, featuring Anne Hathaway as Garland.
And it's not limited to movies any more. In development for television:
- Red Brick Road, a television series continuation of The Wizard of Oz in the style of Game of Thrones. The latest word is that this is being developed for the Lifetime channel.
- Dorothy, an Oz-themed medical drama in development at CBS
- Dorothy Must Die, in which Dorothy has returned to Oz and become a dictator, in development at the CW. This would be based on the book series of the same name.
- Warriors of Oz, a post-apocalyptic version in development at Syfy.
- A Wicked television miniseries, based on the original book (not the stage musical). Salma Hayak was attached to this as a producer. When last heard of, it was under development at ABC.
No, Peter Jackson is not producing or directing a billion-dollar all-CGI remake of The Wizard of Oz for Warner Bros. How do stories like this get started? Oh, maybe in stories like this...
In recent years, there have been proposals for other Oz or related projects, none of which now appear that they will get off the ground. Among them:
- Lost in Oz, a series that was to feature Melissa George as a Kansas university student who is whisked to Oz sixty years after the events of The Wizard of Oz (The Movie) and helping to spearhead a rebellion against the new Wicked Witch of the West. Although developed for the WB and a pilot film produced, it was never picked up, nor the pilot shown. (But keep an eye out on auction sites, as a bootleg DVD sometimes shows up…)
- A telelvision miniseries based on Gregory Maguire's novel Wicked, with Demi Moore in the title role. (There are stories that the people developing this version later pushed their involvement into the musical version now playing on Broadway and elsewhere.)
- The O. Z., a hip-hop flavored re-telling of The Wizard of Oz for Fox. Among the rumored Dorothy's at one point were Brandy, Mya, and the late Aaliyah. Justin Timberlake, John Leuizamo, and Little Richard were mentioned for other parts.
- Surrender Dorothy. Drew Barrymore as Dorothy's great-granddaughter coming to Oz, and battling the Wicked Witch of the West's granddaughter. (Rumors of this recently resurfaced, but were quickly squelched. This project is dead.)
- Somewhere starring Elizabeth Taylor as Dorothy, now a grandmother, returning to Oz. The deaths of both Taylor and developer Rod Steiger means this is unlikely to ever happen.
- Pamela West, where the Wicked Witch is the innocent victim and Dorothy (with Toto as a pit bull) is the evil interloper.
- The Land of Oz (not based on the book of the same name), produced by Hallmark for NBC. This eventually became the basis for the Sci Fi Channel miniseries Tin Man.
- The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus from Circa Pictures. It's no longer listed on their website.
- The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus from Hyde Park Entertainment and Toonz Entertainment.
- A Bollywood adaptation of The Wizard of Oz in India.
- A movie version of American McGee's (later cancelled) Oz video game.
- Geoff Ryman's Was.
If progress is made on any of these projects, such as actually going into production or a release date announced, the news will be posted as quickly as possible on this page. But at this stage, any of these going into production is very unlikely. (However, Tin Man was part of this list for some time before its eventual completion and broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel.)