(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.)
November 25, 2016: The Baum Bugle, Autumn 2016
The latest issue of The Baum Bugle, the journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club, is now in the mail and making its way to members. We will have more information about this issue as the news page gets updated over the next few days.
August 8, 2016: The Baum Bugle, Spring 2016
In this issue:
- Craig Noble apologizes for the lateness of the issue and praises the cover in his "Letter from the Editor". (Alas, the factor that made the issue late, a new job, have now precluded Craig from continuing as Bugle editor, and since this issue's publication, he has announced his resignation. Former editor Scott Cummings has stepped in on a contingency basis.)
- Club President Carrie Hedges encourages members to donate money at higher levels of membership and attend the Club's two conventions this summer (alas, both already past now) in her "OZervations" column.
- In "Oz and Ends":
- The Slippers, a new full-length documentary about The Movie's famous ruby footwear, which made its debut at this year's ŜSW Festival in Austin, Texas.
- A production of The Wiz at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women in New York State.
- A Wizard of Oz-themed train ride in French Lick, Indiana.
- The release of Tom and Jerry: Back to Oz, a sequel to their first mash-up movie Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz.
- Composer Alexis de Ravenswood releases a symphonic retelling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- An article about brothers Eugene and Eulie David, who were Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz before settling in the Barnwell, South Carolina region.
- Chairman Ryan Bunch previews this year's national Club convention in "OzCon National 2016 is Coming to Philadelphia!" (alas, the issue went out too late to be of any use for readers).
- Barbara S. Koelle examines the lives of three visitors from the City of Brotherly Love to Oz in "The Boys from Philadelphia".
- Jane Albright looks at the Club's new blog as she and the blog's creator look at previously unknown Oz collectibles in "Blogging for the IWOC: Walter Krueger Unveils Unknown Oz".
- The Oz Club announces a contest to rewrite the end of Rinkitink in Oz as it may have been in its original 1905 non-Oz incarnation, King Rinkitink.
- Ron Baxley, Jr. interviews another artist in "The Oz Illustrator: An Interview with Oz 'Maine-iac' Vincent Myrand". (The back cover features Myrand's watercolor painting "The Flight of the Fugitives".)
- "Oz in the Spotlight" feature's Bill Thompson's review of the second iteration of the recently concluded touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Wizard of Oz.
- In "Adventures in Oz", Club member Michael Booth writes about "My Wonderful Life in Oz".
- "The Oz Bookshelf" reviews and mentions a number of new books:
- Polyhrome: A Romantic Fantasy by Ryk E. Spoor, reviewed by Alan Wise.
- The Giant Garden of Oz (new edition) and Worlds of Color: Welcome to Oz Adult Coloring Book, both by Eric Shanower and reviewed by Atticus Gannaway.
- 1899: L. Frank Baum's OZ-Inspiring Macatawa Park by William Bollman.
- 20,000 Leagues Under Oz by Marin Elizabeth Xiques and Chris Dulabone.
- The Case of the Ruby Slippers by Martha Freeman.
- Colorful Corniness in Oz by Marin Elizabeth Xiques and Chris Dulabone.
- Crown of the Dreamer by Tarl Telford.
- Da Yeller Brick Road by Jim Yoakum.
- Dorothy and Mischievous Children in Oz by James Fuller.
- Dorothy of Oz Prequel by Denton J. Tipton.
- Dorothy and the Purple Bull from Oz by James Fuller.
- Dorothy Through the Looking-Glass by Ron Glick
- The Emerald Slippers of Oz.
- Emily Goes to Oz by Pamela Wolf.
- …And Justice for Oz by Lark Vandergrace.
- Lost Lands of Oz: The Rain King Is Missing by Janet Kelly.
- The Magic of Glinda: Why Transformation Is Myth by Scott W. Webb.
- The Making of The Wizard of Oz (75th Anniversary Edition) by Aljean Harmetz.
- The Nutcrackers of Oz by James Fuller.
- The Oz Enigma by Roger S. Baum.
- Queer and Loathing on the Yellow Brick Road by Deb Hoag.
- Rainbow's Emissary by Mike LaMontagne.
- The Red Brick Road by Edwin Page.
- Refugees from the Emerald City by David Alvin.
- The Royal Historian of Oz by Spike Brown.
- Searching for Matilda: Portrait of a Forgotten Feminist by Charlotte M. Shapiro.
- The Royal Historian of Oz by Spike Brown.
- Take Me Back to Oz by Lisa McFauh-Queppe.
- Toto and the Cats of Oz by Robin Hess.
- Toto's Reflection: Leadership Lessons from The Wizard of Oz by Kevin Fickenscher.
- The Wiz Kids of Oz by Robert Bresloff.
- The Wizard of Oz Arranged for Harp by Sylvia Woods.
- The Wizard of Oz Crochet by Kristen Rask.
- The Wizard of Mad Libs.
- The Wizard of Oz, Where Is He Now? by Richard Mickelson.
- The Wizard in Wonderland by Ron Glick.
- The Wogglebug's Fun with Seasons and Holidays by Cynthia Hanson.
- Wonderful Images of Oz, edited by Kevin Meinert and Brandie Colbert.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Ron Glick, adapted by STella Gurney.
- Yip Harburg: Legendary Lyricist and Human Rights Activist by Ron Glick.
- And "In Memoriam" notes the passing oftwo long-time Club members and contributors to the saga of Oz, Richard Paul Smyers and Margaret Berg.
August 6, 2016: The 2016 L. Frank Baum Memorial Award
The International Wizard of Oz Club tonight presented its highest award, the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, to Jay Scarfone and William Stillman. Together, they have written many books, including The Wizard of Oz: The Official 50th Anniversary Pictorial History (with John Fricke), The Wizard of Oz Collector’s Treasury, The Wizardry of Oz: The Artistry and Magic of the 1939 MGM Classic, and The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion. They have also written many articles and curated museum exhibits about The Movie. Stillman was also the editor-in-chief of The Baum Bugle from 1996 to 2000, while Scarfone has served on the Club's board of directors. Both were also active in the Munchkin Convention, chairing it for several years.
July 16, 2016: The 2016 Winkie Award
Tonight, OzCon International presented its annual Winkie Award, for cotributions to the convention and Oz in general, to Virginia "Gina" Wickwar. She is the author of The Hidden Prince of Oz and Toto of Oz, as well as many contributions to OzCon International.
February 4, 2016: The Baum Bugle, Winter 2015
A few weeks late, but nothing too serious, the Winter 2015 edition of The Baum Bugle has been sent out to members and should arrive soon. This marks the end of the 2015 membership year, and so members are urged to renew for 2016 as soon as possible with the enclosed form.
In this issue:
- The front cover features Elijah Kelley as the Scarecrow from December's broadcast of The Wiz Live!
- Craig Noble's "Letter from the Editor" talks about the issue's dual celebrants, The Scarecrow of Oz, which turned one hundred in 2015, and The Wiz Live!
- The Oz Club's president, Carrie Hedges, urges all members to renew and attend one of this summer's Oz conventions (in either Portland or Philadelphia in her "OZervations" column.
- Featured in "Oz and Ends":
- NBC picks up Emerald City for a series, now starting in the fall; while Amazon's pilot for Lost in Oz was so successful that it has also been picked up for a full series run.
- Not only is Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Wizard of Oz back for a second North American tour, it was also featured in a November episode of [http://www.broadwaybalancesamerica.com/index.php/show?show=152110 Broadway Balances America reports on Lifetime.
- A long list of award nominations for The Wiz Live!.
- Thirty-eight years after recording the album, Diana Ross Sings Songs From The Wiz comes out at last.
- At a Bonham's auction in November, one of Judy Garland's dresses from The Wizard of Oz sells for $1.56 million.
- Eric Shanower examines and tries to reconcile "The Five Origins of the Scarecrow".
- Alyse Rall Benjamin takes a journey back in time "Rereading The Scarecrow of Oz".
- "Oz Under Scrutiny" looks at contemporary reviews of The Scarecrow of Oz, culled from L. Frank Baum's own scrapbooks.
- Paul R. Bienvenue and Robert E. Schmidt look at the editions of Oz and Baum books specially bound for use in libraries in "The Library Bindings of Oz".
- "The Magic Picture" carries a number of reports from OzCon International this past summer in San Diego:
- "What's in a Name?" by David Maxine examines the reasons behind rebranding the convention from its old name, the Winkie Convention.
- Peter E. Hanff reviews the book, Fifty Years of the Winkie Convention, and also looks at the panel on "Collecting Original Oz Art".
- Robert Baum writes a profile on this year's winner of the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, Paul R. Bienvenue.
- Paul Dana recaps three panels: "The Soul of The Wiz", "The Novelizations of Oz", and "What Can We Make of Neill's Oz Books?".
- Michael O. Riley thoroughly examines the differences between the first two printings of the first Oz book in "Bibliographia Oziana: More on the Hill Edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: How to Distinguish Between the First and Second States of the Text" (whew!).
- In "The Oz Illustrator", Bill Campbell writes of how he and his partner reinterpret Oz illustrations in a new medium in "Ozzy Inspirations: The Stained Glass of Century Studio".
- "Oz in the Spotlight" presents two reviews of The Wiz Live!, by Ryan Jay and Garrett Kilgore.
- In "adventures in Oz, Eric Sangwine remembers how his mother's prized copy of The Wizard of Oz led to his career as a librarian in Ontario.
- "Oz Ink" presents Samantha Beeler, her Oz tattoos, and how they came to be.
- The rules for a contest to complete Baum's original non-Oz story, King Rinkitink, which was later rewritten and published as Rinkitink in Oz, appear.
- In The Oz Bookshelf, Marc Berezin reviews A Brief Guide to Oz by Paul Simpson.
- "In Memoriam" marks the passing of Holly Dennis-Lucas, who ran the Wannabe Wonderlands blog.
- "Ozmusements" presents a quiz over The Scarecrow of Oz by Eric Gjovaag.
- And the back cover reproduces The Whirlpool, a stained glass window based on an illustration by John R. Neill and created by Bill Campbell and Irwin Terry.
(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.)
Reports of Jerry Maren's death on February 29, 2016, are false. The last little person to play a Munchkin in The Movie, he is still alive and kicking and, unlike the reports saying it, does not have cancer.
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.
- Yes, it looks like a film version of Wicked is currently in pre-planning at Universal. But this is a long way off, and a lot can happen. However, the success of the play most likely means that there will be a film version some day. Winnie Holzman, who wrote the book for the play, has already been tapped to write the script. Universal has announced an intended release date of December 20, 2019.
- 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.
- OzLand, with the protagonists wandering post-apocalyptic America and finding a copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- 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.)