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* Angelica Shirley Carpenter tries to fill in some of the blanks of the life of L. Frank Baum's wife in "Finding Maud".
* 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 [https://youtu.be/V-6ocvq4yis right here].)
* 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 [https://youtu.be/V-6ocvq4yis right here].)
* New Oz books reviewed, or at least mentioned, in "The Bugle Review":
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0593114752/thewonderwizardo/ ''bedtime Classics: The Wizard of Oz'' board book, illustrated by Carly Gledhill], reviewed by Garrett Kilgore.
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0451480244/thewonderwizardo/ ''Sky Island: A Trot & Cap'n Bill Adventure'' graphic novel by Amy Chu and Janet K. Lee], reviewed by J. L. Bell.
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0847860116/thewonderwizardo/ ''Adrian: A Lifetime of Movie Glamour, Art and High Fashion'' by Leonard Stanley], reviewed by Paul Miles Schneider.
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0545746698/thewonderwizardo/ ''Abby in Oz (Whatever After: Special Edition0'' by Sarah Mlynowski].
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1099805325/thewonderwizardo/ ''Flying Monkeys Cookbook'' by Aunt Deb].
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1733908625/thewonderwizardo/ ''The Good Witch of the South'' by T. C. Bartlett].
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1651625751/thewonderwizardo/ ''The Inventor of Oz'' by Kaitlyn Hawker].
** The Kingdom of Fairytales Wizard of Oz series by Emma Savant and J. A. Armitage: [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1989997007/thewonderwizardo/ ''Volume 1: King of Traitors''], [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1989997015/thewonderwizardo/ ''Volume 2: Heir of Fugitives''], [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1989997023/thewonderwizardo/ ''Volume 3: Throne of Emeralds''], and [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1989997031/thewonderwizardo/ ''Volume 4: God of Storms''].
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/170284417X/thewonderwizardo/ ''A Nightmare in Oz'' by David M. Keyes].
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1734109505/thewonderwizardo/ ''No Place Like Home'' by Susan Wackerbarth].
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B088LFS413/thewonderwizardo/ ''Orphans of Oz: A Mother's Adventure'' by Marie Micaela].
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B08KJYWL4Q/thewonderwizardo/ ''The Poetry Book of Oz'' by L. Frank Baum and Tynker Smith].
** [https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/larry-springfield-jr/the-shaman-of-oz/paperback/product-1wkw5ene.html?page=1&pageSize=4 ''The Shaman of Oz'' by Larry Springfield, Jr.].
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/149659195X/thewonderwizardo/ ''The Silver Spurs of Oz'' by Erica Schultz, illustrated by Omar Lozano].
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1574330497/thewonderwizardo/ ''Stolen to Oz: Toto and Miss Jennie in Oz (Without Dorothy0,, by Alan Lindsay].
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1620888971/thewonderwizardo/ ''A Taste of Oz'' by Robin Blasberg].
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1951600320/thewonderwizardo/ ''The Teachers of Oz: Leading with Wisdom, Heart, Courage, and Spirit'' by Herbie Raad and Dr. Nathan Lang-Raad].
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1734574798/thewonderwizardo/ ''The Twin Witches of Oz'' by Amanda D. Wallace].
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1732338434/thewonderwizardo/ ''The Wizard of Menopoz'' by Deborah Monk].
** [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/8854417025/thewonderwizardo/ ''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.
* 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.
More will be coming to this listing over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Also included with this issue:
Also included with this issue:

Revision as of 16:05, 2 April 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.)

"There's no place like the home page."

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


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 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.

The full press release, including all twenty-five recordings in the class or 2020, is available at https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-21-015/national-recording-registry-adds-rhythm-nation-among-25-new-selections/2021-03-24/. The complete list, which also includes the original Broadway cast album of The Wiz, is at https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-recording-preservation-board/recording-registry/complete-national-recording-registry-listing/.

February 28, 2021: The Baum Bugle Winter 2020


The Winter 2020 issue of The Baum Bugle, the International Wizard of Oz Club's triannual journal, is now back from the printers and making its way to all Oz Club members for 2020. This issue commemorates the one hundredth anniversary of the publication of Glinda of Oz, the final Oz book by L. Frank Baum.

In this issue:

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, 1964-2020

Chris Dulabone.jpg

Chris Dulabone, the prolific Oz author and publisher who blazed the trail for extracanonical Oz pastiches, died today after a long illness. He wrote and published his first Oz book, Toto of Oz, in 1986 at a time when copyrights and technology made publishing new Oz books difficult. This proved to be the first of dozens of books Dulabone wrote or co-wrote, and in some cases even illustrated. He published his works, and those of others, under the imprint of Buckethead Enterprises of Oz, and opened the doors wide for who could write an Oz book, and just what an Oz book is anyway. He continued to write, illustrate, and publish books for decades as he reorganized his company as Tails 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

David L Greene.jpg

Dr. David L. Greene, Oz scholar and founding member of the International Wizard of Oz Club, passed away today. He was seventy-six years old and had been in declining health for some time. He and his twin brother, Douglas G. Greene, were two of the sixteen initial members of the International Wizard of Oz Club when it was started in 1957, and two of the youngest (only founder Justin Schiller was younger), but both quickly contributed much to the Club. David served as editor of the Club's journal, The Baum Bugle, for many years, did extensive research in Oz bibliography, and founded the Club's Special Publications division. He also co-authored the popular book The Oz Scrapbook with Dick Martin, which came out in 1977. The Greene brothers were jointly awarded the International Wizard of Oz Club's highest honor, the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, in 1965. Outside of Oz, Greene taught English at Piedmont College in Georgia for thirty-seven years and retired as a Professor Emeritus. He was also interested in genealogy, wrote several books on the subject, was a Fellow and past President of the American Society of Genealogists, and edited The American Genealogist for twenty-five years. He is survived by his twin brother, Douglas; his non-twin brother, Paul; his wife, Jane; a son, a daughter, two stepdaughters, and five grandchildren.

(Information courtesy the Whitfield Funeral Homes tribute page. Photo courtesy The American Genealogist.)

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.

(Information courtesy the BBC and Wikipedia.

October 30, 2020: The Baum Bugle Autumn 2020 and Oziana 2020


Two important issues of International Wizard of Oz Club magazines are now available. All 2020 members of the Club should soon receive the Autumn 2020 issue of The Baum Bugle, the triannual journal, with this issue celebrating thirty-five years of the 1985 Disney film Return to Oz, with many never-before-published items from the Disney archives. Because of licensing agreements with Disney, this issue is strictly limited, and will likely not be available as a back issue or reprinted in the future, so this will be a particularly sought after issue.

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:
  • 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.
Oziana 2020.jpg

Also out now is the Club's annual fiction anthology, Oziana. The 2020 issue is of especial importance because this is the fiftieth issue. Unlike The Baum Bugle, Oziana is available to anyone at any time, and can be ordered at this link.

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).
    De Jesus.JPG Valentin.JPG

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


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 towards members. This is the first issue of the 2020 membership year, with the current COVID-19 pandemic no doubt contributing to the usual problems the Bugle has to keeping to its intended schedule.

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:
  • "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":
  • "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

Colin Ayres.jpg

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.

April 17, 2020: The Baum Bugle, Winter 2019 issue


The final issue of The Baum Bugle, the journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club, has come out for the 2019 membership year. Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the printers were not able to print the issue in a timely manner; so, in an unprecedented move, the Club sent out the issue to Club members as a .pdf file via e-mail. (UPDATE, May 9: The printer has come through, and the print version is now making its way into members' mailboxes.) This marks the end of the 2019 membership year, and members are encouraged to renew their memberships for 2020 soon.

In this issue:

Also included with this issue:

  • A 2020 membership form (for those who don't want to renew their membership online).
  • A registration form for the National Oz Convention.
  • The third part of the Emerald City toy theatre.
  • An "Oz Live 2019" supplement, reporting on:
    • The 2019 National Oz Convention in Thibodeaux, Louisiana.
    • Oz-Stravaganza! in Chittenango, New York.
    • The Quadling Convention in Moore, Oklahoma.
    • The Judy Garland Festival and Children's Wizard of Oz Festival in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
    • The Michigan Wizard of Oz Festival in Ionia, Michigan.
    • OzCon International in Pomona, California.
    • Autumn in Oz in Banner Elk, North Carolina.
    • Oztoberfest in Wamego, Kansas.
    • Ohio Oz Fest in Twinsburg, Ohio.
  • The latest issue of The Oz Gazette, the newsletter for younger Oz fans (no matter what age their birth certificate might say), featuring:
    • A new expedition for Trot and Cap'n Bill.
    • Dorothy's final "Editorial", as she's handing over the reins as Editor in Chief to the Scarecrow.
    • The conclusion to the biography of L. Frank Baum.
    • A play written by the Scarecrow, relating some of the events of The Magic of Oz.
    • In "Ask Glinda", the sorceress and some of her friends answer the question, "How do I get to Oz?"

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 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.)

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