There’s no place like yet another Wizard of Oz adaptation. Deadline reported today that another film based on the classic book is in the works at New Line Cinema, with Watchmen director Nicole Kassell attached to direct. “The opportunity to examine the original themes — the quest for courage, love, wisdom, and home — feels more timely and urgent than ever,” Kassell told Deadline. Uh, all right then. The book has been adapted many times before — the most famous, of course, being the 1939 version with Judy Garland. Others famously include 1978’s The Wiz, starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow in an all-Black cast, and, most recently, Disney’s 2013 Oz the Great and Powerful. There’s a Muppets version, an anime television series, and Broadway and West End musicals (plus Wicked, which is basically The Wizard of Oz fanfic). But since this remake is more “urgent than ever,” what new delights could it bring to audiences? Let’s just hope the Wicked Witch of the West’s story line isn’t an allegory for cancel culture.
Dorothy’s shocked too. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer