Oz News: Difference between revisions
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What it boils down to is that the movie adaptation will be released as two separate movies, during the December holiday release seasons of
What it boils down to is that the movie adaptation will be released as two separate movies, during the December holiday release seasons of and .
Revision as of 08:53, 16 July 2022
(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.)
May 13, 2022: The Baum Bugle Spring 2022 issue
Even though the calendar says today is Friday the thirteenth, it's a lucky day for members of the International Wizard of Oz Club as the latest issue of the Club's journal, The Baum Bugle, has started arriving in members' mailboxes. We'll have more about this issue in the coming days, after our own copy arrives, so keep an eye on this page for more information.
April 26, 2022: Wicked to Be Split Into Two Movies
John Chu, the director of the film adaptation of the Wicked musical, sent out the following notice via Twitter:
What it boils down to is that the movie adaptation will be released as two separate movies, during the December holiday release seasons of 2024 and 2025.
April 12, 2022: David Moyer, 1929-2022
David Moyer, long-time Oz fan and recipient of the 2006 L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, passed away today at the age of 92. He was active in the Club as far back as the 1970s, and twice served on the Board of Directors. He also edited "Oz in the News" in The Baum Bugle for many years. His career as an Egyptologist made him uniquely qualified to research and share his knowledge of Frank and Maud Baum's 1906 trip to Egypt and their cruise up the Nile. He presented his show at many Oz conventions and other sites. He was also a columnist for KMT: A Modern Journal About Ancient Egypt. Earlier in his life, he also performed, both on stage and as a movie extra, which led to him playing Mombi in The Woggle-Bug and the Sultan of Samandra in The Yellow Knight of Oz at several Oz conventions.
(Information courtesy of the International Wizard of Oz Club and David Maxine. Photo courtesy David Maxine.)
December 29, 2021: The Baum Bugle, Winter 2021 Issue
The final issue for 2021 of The Baum Bugle, the journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club, is back from the printers and on its way to Club members. In years past, this is the issue for which membership ends, and it's time to renew, but this time…well, read on to find out why this is changing.
In this issue:
- Celebrating one hundred years of The Royal Book of Oz and Ruth Plumly Thompson's ascension to becoming the Royal Historian of Oz, the front cover reworks the original cover of Royal Book. The inside front cover reproduces the color plate of the Scarecrow crossing the river on the A-B-Sea Serpent from the same book.
- In "Letters":
- Oz Club President Jane Albright announces a change in how Club membership works. Instead of getting all three issues of The Baum Bugle for that calendar year, no matter when you join, you now get the next three issues. This has come about due to changes in how members join and renew, and the needs of printing issues. Plus, all kinds of new features in the Club's newly redesigned website
- Bugle editor Sara K. Crotzer pulls back the curtain to show what went into the making of this issue.
- In "The Bugle Bulletin":
- The casting of Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and Ariana Grande as Glinda in the forthcoming film version of the Wicked musical.
- The opening of a new Wizard of Oz museum in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
- A new one-woman show about the actress immortalized as the Wicked Witch of the West, My Witch: Margaret Hamilton's Stories of Maine, Hollywood and Beyond! premiering over Halloween weekend in Freeport, Maine.
- Dancer David Bolger's tribute to his uncle, Ray Bolger, at the Dublin Theatre Festival in October.
- Pav's Creamery in North Canton, Ohio unveils a mural of Marilyn Monroe, Bob Marley, and, of course, Judy Garland as Dorothy eating ice cream.
- "Through the Tube!" features three YouTube videos by the Sheet Music Singer of music from old Oz stage shows: "The Scarecrow Song" from The Wizard of Oz (1902), "Mr. H. M. Woggle Bug, T. E." from The Woggle-Bug (1905), and "The Clockwork Man" from The Tik-Tok Man of Oz (1913).
- In "Awards and Honors", the appreciation of the 2021 winner of the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, Lynn Beltz, sadly also became her obituary, as she died unexpectedly in November. She is feted and remembered by Angelica Shirley Carpenter, Jane Albright, and Sarah K. Crotzer.
- "Ozma's Honor Roll" acknowledges those members of the Oz Club who have given additional funds above their membership dues to enhance the Club's coffers.
- Garrett Kilgore writes an appreciation of what is not the most beloved book among all Oz fans in "'We'll Let Him Adopt Us': Found Family in The Royal Book of Oz".
- Scott Cummings compiles some contemporary newspaper and magazine reviews of The Royal Book of Oz in the latest installment of "OzUnder Scrutiny".
- Peter Hanff examines how the story of Oz transitioned from one writer to another and gained a new lease on life in "Rewriting History: How Oz Was Saved for a New Generation".
- "Coming and Going" presents short mini-essays from Nick Campbell, Sarah K. Crotzer, Scott Cummings, and Peter E. Hanff about what may have influenced Ruth Plumly Thompson to create some of the elements in The Royal Book of Oz.
- Ryan Bunch presents "The Scarecrow of Oz", a song by Ruth Plumly Thompson and Norman Sherrard that was part of the advertising playlet A Day in Oz.
- "The Royal Book of Oz Quiz", created by Stephen J. Teller for one of the Club's conventions in earlier times.
- In "Collector's Corner", W. Neal Thompson looks at the career and collectibility of Frank Ver Beck, the illustrator of L. Frank Baum's A New Wonderland/The Magical Monarch of Mo.
- Gina Wickwar pays tribute to the Comfortable Camel and the Doubtful Dromedary, introduced in The Royal Book of Oz, by remembering the times she's been on camels in "Camels Camels Everywhere…And Not a Drop to Drink".
- Ruth Berman reexamines the links between John Steinbeck and Oz, a topic she first brought up in the previous issue of the Bugle, in "When Pigs Have Wings".
- Reviewed, or at least noted, in "The Bugle Review":
- Doctor Who: The Wonderful Doctor of Oz by Jacqueline Rayner, reviewed by Nick Campbell.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz audio play, adapted by Paul Magrs, reviewed by Sarah K. Crotzer.
- The Art of Decorating Dry Goods, Windows, and Interiors by L. Frank Baum, a reprint of the first edition of this rare book.
- Beyond the Yellow Brick Road: Unlocking the Promise of God by Juan Martinez].
- The Black Rainbow of Oz by David M. Keyes.
- Dorothy vs. Alice: Crucify the Scarecrow, Dorothy vs. Alice: Lion Six Feet Under, and Dorothy vs. Alice: Tin Man Rust in Peace by Lotus Rose.
- Dorothy and the Wooden Soldiers of Oz by Ken Romer, a reprint of the very limited edition 1987 book.
- Dunkiton Press #29: Mice #3, the latest reprint of Oz-related material from newspaper archives from Dunkiton Press.
- Emerald City, edited by Stacey Jaine McIntosh.
- The Faeries of Oz series by Candace Robinson and Amber R. Duell: Book One: Tin, Book Two: ,Crow, Book Three: Ozma, and Book Four: Tik-Tok.
- Falling Into Oz by C. L. Riley.
- Goldey Goosey of Oz by Ron Baxley, Jr.
- The Hedgehog of Oz by Cory Leonardo.
- The Heirs of Oz series by Kendra Moreno: Book 1: Heartless as a Tin Man and Book 2: Empty As a Scarecrow. (Two more books, not noted by the Bugle, are also available: Book 3: Cowardly As a Lion and Book 4: Vengeful As a Beauty.)
- Hopeless: Dorothy in Oz #1 by Robin Endicott.
- Journal of Rita Diggs: Empty Vessels by Abigail Rodriguez.
- Lights, Camera, Witchcraft: A critical History of Witches in American Film and Television by Heather Greene.
- The Munchkin Diary: My Personal Yellow Brick Road by Betty Ann Bruno—yes, Bruno was a child background Munchkin in The Movie, making her one of the last surviving cast members.
- Oscar Diggs, The Wizard of Oz by Scott B. Blanke.
- O. Z. Doesn't Diggs G. C. C. at the Emerald City by Ron Baxley, Jr.
- Oz Will Fall: Wicked Rebirth by John Malone and Nicole Delgado (a second book, Oz Will Fall: The Royal Marriage was not noted by the Bugle).
- Oztory in Verse: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Ronald K. Ford.
- The Painted Queen of Oz by Tarl Telford.
- The Rubber Ostriches of Oz by Marin Elizabeth Xiques and Chris Dulabone.
- The Silver Shoes of Oz (second edition) by Marin Elizabeth Xiques.
- The Spellcasters of Oz by Philip John Levin.
- Straw Song by K. A. Silva.
- Bots: The Wizard of Bots by Russ Bolts.
- The Wizard That Was: An Australian School Musical by Greg Tuck.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: A Play in Two Acts for Actors by Millie Hardy-Sims.
- The inside front cover reproduces Michael Herring's cover art for the 1985 Del Rey edition of The Royal Book of Oz.
- And the back cover is Frank Ver Beck's "The Vegetarians", an illustration from the 1910 book Ver Beck's Bears in Mother Goose-Land.
Other goodies are also enclosed, in addition to the Bugle:
- A flyer for many books and other items available in the Oz Club shop.
- A plea to renew, especially in light of the change in renewal policy.
- A Scarecrow marionette to color, cut out, and assemble.
- And in the twelfth issue of the revival of The Oz Gazette, the newsletter for younger Oz fans (no matter what their ages):
- New York Oz fan Katie Jones, lost and asking for help in the last few issues, finally makes it to the Emerald City!
- The editor, the Scarecrow, writes about friendship among Oz fans.
- The story of how Ruth Plumly Thompson succeeded L. Frank Baum as Royal Historian of Oz.
- An overview of the characters and places Thompson added to the story of Oz.
- Thompson's poem, "A Christmas Wish".
- Holiday greetings (?) from the Nome King.
- Ruth Plumly Thompson's map of Oz.
- An interview with Sir Hokus of Pokes.
- The Wogglebug's contest.
- A winter weather report from the new Gazette meteorologist, Polychrome.
For another look at this issue, the LA Quadling has a video overview.
November 20, 2021: Lynn Beltz 1953-2021
Lynn Beltz, former Vice President and member of the Board of Directors of the International Wizard of Oz Club, passed away suddenly today from natural causes in her condo in St. Louis. She was 68. Reintroduced to Oz when finding tho books in college, she first came to Oz fandom at the Oogaboo Rendezvous events in the Seattle area, but soon became a regular at the Winkie Convention and other events around the country. After organizing games and support at Club conventions and promoting the Club at other events, she became more involved with the running of the Club, including organizing Club publications and donated items, criss-crossing the country to empty and consolidate warehouse storage lockers. Many of the items she recovered ended up in Oz Club auctions, or were given away to help recruit new members. The Club has seen few boosters like her, and she will be missed.
She is survived by her husband, Michael, two sisters and a brother, and numerous nieces, nephews, and their families.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Beem.)
August 27, 2021: The Baum Bugle, Autumn 2021 Issue
In what may be a first in the history of the journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club, the latest issue of The Baum Bugle has started to appear today in members' mailboxes before the season listed on the front cover. A tribute to the fantastic creatures of Oz, this issue will be a treat for all Oz fans.
In this issue:
- The front cover features an illustration of Tik-Tok by Gabriel Gale, from the forthcoming book The Art of Oz.
- The inside front cover has an illustration by Mark Manley of the Demon of Electricity from L. Frank Baum's non-Oz book The Master Key.
- "Letters" sees Oz Club President Jane Albright reflecting on how the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the Club to reach out in new ways via online events, while Bugle editor Sarah K. Crotzer talks about how this issue came about and its contributors.
- Recent news items covered in "The Bugle Bulletin":
- The discovery of a dress worn by Judy Garland in The Movie, found at the Catholic University of America.
- The opening of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' museum, launching with a screening of The Movie with an orchestra performing the score.
- The continued woes of bringing Wicked to the screen, along with new productions in South Korea and Germany.
- Wicked in Concert on PBS.
- Plans to expand the Oz Plaza in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
- A man in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, who turned his garden into an Ozzy tribute to his recently deceased wife.
- "Through the Tube!" found these recent discoveries on YouTube, all devoted to arts and crafts:
- Michael Patrick Hearn gives a preview of the forthcoming book The Art of Oz in "A Few Words About Oz".
- Robert B. Luehrs takes a look at The Master Key in "Encountering the Demon of Electricity".
- Dennis Wilson Wise examines how two different authors write about underground dwellers in "Delving Into Gnome Man's Land: Two Traditions in Baum and Tolkien".
- "Collector's Corner" sees W. Neal Thompson examining one of the first books ever illustrated by W. W. Denslow, County Atlas of Lebanon, Pennsylvania. (Well everyone has to start somewhere!)
- Christina Maffa looks at the influences on Tik-Tok and Baum's other mechanical characters in "Perfect Machines: Baum's Mechanical Beings and Their Ancient Greek Predecessors".
- Ruth Berman looks at some of the creatures that inhabit the airways of Oz in "Flights of Fancy in Oz".
- In "Oz in the Arts", Marc Berezin reviews Fantastic Return to Oz, an original sequel to the Russian animated movie Fantastic Journey to Oz. The new movie has so far received very limited distribution in English-speaking markets.
- In "The Bugle Review":
- The new Clover Press edition of The Royal Book of Oz by Ruth Plumly Thompson with new illustrations by Sara Richard, reviewed by Atticus Gannaway.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, adapted by Susan Hill Long and illustrated by Susan Martinez, reviewed by Angelica Shirley Carpenter.
- The Wizard of Oz, adapted by Alex Fabrizio and illustrated by Greg Paprocki.
- "Adventures in Oz" recounts the adventures of puppeteer David Messick as he tries to put on a production of the second Oz book in "My Journey to the Marvelous Land of Oz".
- The inside back cover reproduces a color plate of Jack and Peter flying on the Iffin from Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz.
- And the back cover reproduces a map of Oz and its neighboring lands from The Art of Oz.
Also sent out with this issue:
- The eleventh issue of the second series of The Oz Gazette, the newspaper from Oz aimed at younger readers, which features:
- After a disappearance at a circus near the Emerald City, readers are urged to keep an eye out for strange creatures, possibly from Oz, in their own neighborhoods.
- Editor Scarecrow asks readers to write in with their own contributions while expressing his sympathies for all that's happening in our world.
- Chapter 2 of the serial story, "Toto and the Woozy in the Valley of the Kalidahs!"
- In "Ask Glinda", lost Club member Katie Jones sends in a record of her latest adventures. (Come on, Glinda, help her!)
- The Gazette interviews Prof. H. M. Wogglebug, T. E.
- And in a "stop press" notice, it seems many things have disappeared from the Emerald City on Halloz'ween night—including Princess Ozma!
- For a craft project, a portrait of Queen Aquarine from The Sea Fairies that can flap its tail.
- A request for writers and researchers for future issues of The Baum Bugle.
The Baum Bugle is the journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club, and goes out to all members three times each year. For more information about joining the Club and receiving The Baum Bugle, take a look right here.
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.
July 17, 2021: The Winkie Award
OzCon International presented its annual award, the Winkie Award, to Marc Lewis, recognizing his many contributions to the convention in the 1980s and '90s. He performed in and coordinated many shows, presented many panels and other events, and acted as auctioneer. But perhaps his biggest contribution is also the most appropriate for this year: He and the Oz Club's Executive Secretary, Fred Meyer, in 1992 conspired to create a new award for the then-named Winkie Convention, the only one of the three major conventions of the day that didn't have one. They gave that first award to Peter Hanff. So it's appropriate that the thirtieth Winkie Award goes to one of its creators. Congratulations, Marc, this is long overdue!
(Photo courtesy Peter Hanff.)
June 18, 2021: The Baum Bugle, Spring 2021 Issue
The latest issue of The Baum Bugle, the triannual journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club, is now going out to members. After some issues with recent issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the editor's own health issues, this issue seems to have worked its way back to the unusual status of coming out during the season on the cover (something that has always been rare in the history of the Bugle).
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 the Life 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:
- Nate Barlow looks at early ballyhoo and merchandising for some of the earliest Oz movies in "Feeling Woozy: The Marketing and Publicity of the Oz Film Manufacturing Company". This is accompanied by "The Oz Film Scrapbook", reprinting many early news items and reviews of The Patchwork Girl of Oz.
- Sarah K. Crotzer delves into company archives and presents the behind-the-scenes development of a proposed 1980 television series in "Road of Yellow Brixx: The Lost Filmation TV Series". Many of the illustrations for this article are concept art by Robert L. Kline.
- The late Norton Juster and his connections to Oz are laid out in "Through The Phantom Tollbooth to Oz" by Nick Campbell.
- Atticus Gannaway remembers the publisher of his first book in "Bucket Heads and Tails: The Legacy of Chris Dulabone". Sidebars by some whose works were published by Dulabone highlight some of his books, and there is also a "Publications of Chris Dulabone" checklist.
- In "The Bugle Review":
- The Wonderful Wizards of Art by Daniel "Munch" Kinske, reviewed by Sarah K. Crotzer.
- The Voice of Liberty by Angelica Shirley Carpenter, reviewed by Judy Bieber.
- The Santa Claus Stories by L. Frank Baum, reviewed by Jane Albright.
- "Adventures in Oz" sees Bill Campbell reminiscing about his time working with the Children's Theater Company of Minneapolis on their 1981 production of The Marvelous Land of Oz, which you can watch right here!
- The back cover features a photograph of the Woozy toy made as a tie-in to The Patchwork Girl of Oz movie in 1914.
Also included with this issue are:
- The tenth issue of the revived version of The Oz Gazette, the newsletter for young (or young-at-heart) Oz fans. In this issue:
- Glinda reveals that Oz is in danger, but not how…yet!
- Editor Scarecrow asks the readers if they have seen anything strange in their neighborhood.
- The first installment of a new serial story, "Toto and the Woozy in the Valley of the Kalidahs" by S. H. Nesbit, with illustrations by Mark Manley.
- "Ask Glinda" sees Club member Katie still trying to cope with not being in New York City.
- In "What Did the Wogglebug Say", the highly magnified and thoroughly educated insect asks some questions for the reader to answer.
- Plus, Gardening Tips and Classified Ads.
- "A Doozy of a Woozy" puzzle game, to color and cut out.
May 17, 2021: Oziana 2021: The Fiftieth Anniversary Issue
The fiftieth issue of Oziana, the annual literary journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club, is being mailed out today. Editor Marcus Mébès offered the issue free to anyone who asked for it online, and these are the issues going out now. But never fear, if you never heard about the free issue offer, it is also for sale at this 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".
(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.)