Difference between revisions of "Oz News"

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(For more Oz news, check out [http://ozmapolitan.spaces.msn.com/PersonalSpace.aspx The Daily Ozmopolitan]. For the latest Oz not-quite-news, see the [[#Rumor Control|Rumor Control]] section of this page.)
 
(For more Oz news, check out [http://ozmapolitan.spaces.msn.com/PersonalSpace.aspx The Daily Ozmopolitan]. For the latest Oz not-quite-news, see the [[#Rumor Control|Rumor Control]] section of this page.)
 
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==August 27, 2021: ''The Baum Bugle'', Autumn 2021 Issue==
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==August 7, 2021: The 2021 Oz Club Awards==
 
==August 7, 2021: The 2021 Oz Club Awards==

Revision as of 19:22, 25 September 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.)

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(For more Oz news, check out The Daily Ozmopolitan. For the latest Oz not-quite-news, see the Rumor Control section of this page.)

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August 27, 2021: The Baum Bugle, Autumn 2021 Issue


August 7, 2021: The 2021 Oz Club Awards

This evening, during its second annual To Oz? To Oz! virtual convention, the International Wizard of Oz Club announced the winners of its annual awards.

  • The Fred Otto Prize for Fiction went to J. L. Bell for "Button-Bright and the Professor", with the runner-up prize going to Scott Blanke for "The Royal Joust of Oz".
  • The Warren C. Hollister Prize for Non-Fiction was not awarded, as there were no entries.
  • The Rob Roy MacVeigh Prize for Art went to "Polychrome" by David Valentin, with Sofia Vazquez coming in second with "Langwidere".
  • And the Club's highest honor, the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, presented to those who have made contributions above and beyond to Oz, the Club, or its goals. The winner for 2021 is Lynn Beltz, former Club vice-president and a general ambassador for Oz and the Club at Oz events all over the country.

Rumor Control

(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 Spanish branch of Netflix is making an Oz-inspired movie, Rainbow, featuring a whole slew of Spanish stars. No word yet on a release date, or if it will be available in markets outside Spain (but knowing Netflix, the latter is likely).


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 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.)

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