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Additional info on that WIZARD OF OZ Warner Bros Project! From The Screenwriter...

Hey folks, Harry here... A couple years back at SXSW, I hosted an amazing talk with Harlan Ellison and met Harlan's friend Josh Olson. At that point, Josh was coming off the stunning work he'd done on HISTORY OF VIOLENCE with Cronenberg. Since then he's been working on 3 projects that we know little about, the most well known being called simply OZ. I just spoke with Josh on the phone and well... he had sent the below letter to Merrick, but was frustrated because the perception of this being based on the toy line and McFarlane's pitch was getting a tad on his nerves. When you read below you can see why, but here's the truth about this new, very interesting OZ project...

Hi, Merrick, This is Josh Olson, the writer of the Oz sequel for Warners that you referenced in your piece today. If you want to verify that it's really me, just tell Harry that I have fond memories of fantastic barbecue with him, his lovely wife, and his father in Austin last year, as well as Harlan Ellison and his wife, Susan. We were in town to promote the documentary about Harlan. I wanted to clear up some confusion and misinformation in the piece. You can feel free to post this, if you'd like: ------ Just to clarify - the Oz project I wrote wasn't "twisted" in any way. McFarlane's involvement with the project and the fact that his line of toys live up to that epithet has led to a lot of confusion in the last couple years. The pitch I sold to Warners was entirely my own, based on events in several of the Baum books, combined with a story of my own creation. The entire project began when McFarlane approached the producers with the idea of doing a new version of Oz. For various reasons, they chose not to go with his approach, however, and in a conversation with the producers, I told them I thought a sequel to Oz was a fascinating - if daunting - idea. I spun a few half-baked ideas in the meeting that they really liked, then went off to craft a pitch for a film, which we then took to Warners and sold. Mine is more of a sequel that was - or was at least intended to be - a return to the magical land of Oz that would work well for both fans of the MGM classic, and fans of Baum's amazing books. My nieces and nephew are always complaining that they aren't allowed to see Uncle Josh's work, and I wanted to do something the whole family could enjoy. If you want to think of it in terms of what's out there, I was going for a Harry Potter tonality. The last I heard, they were looking for writers to make it funnier, which is fine. You don't enter into a project like a sequel to The Wizard of Oz for a major studio believing you'll absolutely be the only writer on the project. But for the record, the project we sold Warners on was in no way based on the Twisted Land of Oz figures. There was no bondage Dorothy, and no gigantic Toto monster. I've never met Todd, never heard his take, and we had one brief telephone conversation after I sold the pitch in which no details of the project were discussed. To be honest, I don't even know if he's read my script. Oz was a labor of love for me - an attempt to give something back to a creator who had such a big impact on my childhood - as well as one hell of an intimidating job. If you can write "I think we're in Oz" for a character named Dorothy Gale, and not have at least a moment's rush of terror and shock at the size of the mountain you're climbing - not to mention your own hubris - you're lying. I'm proud of my work on Oz, and my experience working with Basil Iwanyk and everyone at Warners was nothing but exceptional. I look forward to the next one. Thanks for letting me clarify. Best, Josh Olson

Harry here again. Recently I was on the set of CLASH OF THE TITANS (info embargo'd for later), but while there I talked to the producer, Basil Iwanyk, who is producing on that project as well as Josh's OZ and Basil was very enthusiastic about this as one of his future projects. We'll have to keep our eyes on this. A quality OZ project is literally one of my dream things I'd love to see done on screen. So far, the best translation of Baum's OZ was RETURN TO OZ. The most iconic and timeless will always be Judy Garland's - which I love, but it is pretty far from Baum. Let's hope for the best with this!

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 3, 2009, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Second

    by hawks5999

    My Second post ever that is.

  • Sept. 3, 2009, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Why not go for the tonality of The Wiz?

    by TresEquis

    Chris Brown for the MJ Scarecrow, Beyonce for Dorothy, Fonzworth Bentley for the Tin Man, and Terry Crews for the Cowardly Lion

  • Sept. 3, 2009, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Return to Oz

    by Undead03

    Terrible, but interesting film. Great score, though.

  • Sept. 3, 2009, 10:20 p.m. CST

    History of Violence was the shit!

    by MacReady452

  • Sept. 3, 2009, 10:23 p.m. CST

    What about the Wizard of Id?

    by beane2099

    Where's that movie? Sooner or later, Hollywood is gonna have to start mining newspapr strips for movie ideas. B.C. the movie, Family Circus the movie, Doonsburry (is that how it's spelled?)

  • Sept. 3, 2009, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Return To Oz

    by Dollar Bird

    was the first time I remember sitting in a theatre and thought, "There's not a lot of people here." I loved the movie though, and must have watched it a half a dozen times on Showtime when it made its cable run. Also watched the making of episode of "Lights, Camera, Action" Then, it disappeared. Never saw it on VHS or ever again. A few years ago, we watched it in grad school. And although it wasn't as jaw-dropping, scary, or magical as I remembered, it was fun to watch. The claymation is still pretty cool, if not obvious.

  • Sept. 3, 2009, 10:37 p.m. CST

    i bet hitler is a mcfarlane fan.

    by alice 13

    hes gonna be pretty pissed when he reads this news.

  • Sept. 3, 2009, 10:39 p.m. CST

    So all the McFarlane up roar was for nothing

    by MacReady452

    Nice AICN. Unless you just want to let everyone know that Todd McFarlane has nothing going on. Then job well done.

  • Sept. 3, 2009, 10:48 p.m. CST

    You Rock, Olsen.

    by canucklehead

    Your pitch sounds great, and I look forward to whatever you have coming up.

  • Sept. 3, 2009, 10:54 p.m. CST

    already tired of Oz, and none of its billion iterations

    by jackknifed_juggernaut

    currently in development have even been released yet.

  • Sept. 3, 2009, 11:09 p.m. CST

    Is "Return to Oz" on DVD in anamorphic widescreen?

    by blakindigo

    Please?

  • Sept. 3, 2009, 11:17 p.m. CST

    Return to Oz on DVD-anamorphic

    by Undead03

    Been available for quite some time.

  • Sept. 3, 2009, 11:27 p.m. CST

    would watch

    by frank cotton

    a B.C. flick. hell a GET FUZZY film would be great (if a 2D cartoon)

  • Sept. 3, 2009, 11:33 p.m. CST

    You know what comic strip would make...

    by MacReady452

    ..a great movie. Dick Tracy....wait..oh yeah.

  • Sept. 3, 2009, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Let's clarify here...

    by daggor

    So, this dude's "sequel" script is still bouncing around Hollywood with some momentum, being made "funnier." Is Todd's "Boobies Oz" also in the ether, or is it this one script the one being made "sexier" as well? And, btw, you can never have enough quotation marks.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 12:23 a.m. CST

    TODD MCFARLANE IS A RAGING DOUCHE

    by DOGSOUP

    Fuck him. Fuck him up his stupid ass. But in other news, wasn't there already a sequel that starred a young Fairuza Balk? You know where they did indeed Return to Oz?

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 12:52 a.m. CST

    So what you're saying is...

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    AICN fucked the pooch again and was spreading FUD based on jumping to conclusions. Nice. At least you can admit it.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 1:04 a.m. CST

    How about leaving it alone...

    by BiggusDickus

    ...and creating something of your own as an artist, instead of standing on the shoulders of giants in an attempt to bask in some of their reflected glory?<p>Build your own worlds, fella. You'll find it much more rewarding and people will have more respect for you that way. Who knows, you may even create something wonderful...

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 1:04 a.m. CST

    On looking into it a bit further...

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    It looks like Empire magazine made some assumptions and went to Todd who was more than willing to put himself front and center for a project that is probably only tangentially related to what he says he pitched.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 1:06 a.m. CST

    OZ? Wizard Of Oz? Never heard them...

    by Frodo T. Baggins

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Philip Jose Farmer

    by ElvisPresLeeHorsleyHarveyOswaldOprahWinFreeJackHorkheimer

    "A Barnstormer in Oz"<br/> ?<p>

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 1:40 a.m. CST

    What happened to that Boorman OZ project?

    by My friends call me Killjoy

    The artwork that was linked to early this year was pretty good.<p> As far as a new OZ live-action project...I'm surprised that this hasn't happened before now. In this world of sequels and reboots, it was only a matter of time.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 1:46 a.m. CST

    Boorman's project is still alive

    by palimpsest

    http://tinyurl.com/kqqprv

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 2:11 a.m. CST

    There already is a Oz sequel project...

    by Droogie Alex

    It's called WICKED!

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 2:39 a.m. CST

    hahaha basil iwanyk?!

    by thinboyslim.

    surely that's made up, nobodies called basil iwanyk

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 6:09 a.m. CST

    I am so very glad they're not doing it based on the figures...

    by Anna Valerious

    Because Bondage Dorothy was going too far. Hmm, WB IS distributing the game based on "Oz" called "Riz-zoward" for the DS...I wonder if they could work with the Jp. creators and maybe put some references in to that one...

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 6:18 a.m. CST

    Droogie.

    by brattyben

    Wicked wasn't a film. It was a play. It's not considered a sequel, because the events that happen take place before and during The Wizard of Oz.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 6:45 a.m. CST

    but...Wicked is being turned into a movie it seems...sadly.

    by Bouncy X

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 7:29 a.m. CST

    Wow, Return to Oz freaked me out as a kid...

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . that hospital Dorothy went to at the beginning. The Wheelers. I want to watch it again.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Return to Oz is fantastic. and frightening.

    by JediRob

    I loved it as a kid and watched it recently and still dig it. Stylish, fun and gutsy.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Return to Oz is One of the Scariest Films Ever Made

    by WriteFromLeft

    If you haven't seen it, rent it. I'm not kidding. Whenever I list the top five scariest films I've ever seen, it's number three, behind Night of the Living Dead and The Exorcist.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Return to Oz was animated wasn't it?

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    With the pumpkinhead guy who acted a lot like the scarecrow? I don't remember that being scary.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Thank You Olsen!

    by Don_Simpons_Head

    This is great news. Keep it for the kids and don't get any darker than the original. And plenty of music sequences.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 8:52 a.m. CST

    They should do the first book FIRST

    by performingmonkey

    Cast a great 16-year-old in the role of Dorothy, surround her with top character actors, do a fairly faithful take on the book (no singing!) expanding the pre-Oz section, of course. In Baum's book she's in Kansas for all of 2 pages or so. Kickstart a BIG Oz series with a lush universe. It's a fucking no-brainer, I don't know what the studios are waiting for.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 9:08 a.m. CST

    The Angry VG Nerd does great review of Retrurn to OZ...

    by JediRob

    http://tinyurl.com/6lrgre<br> <br> No it was not animated, though Jack Pumpkinhead was in a cartoon version as well. The live action version was made in 1985 by Disney as a pseudo sequel to the Wizard of OZ. It is based on other elements from the book series and has a dark tone. As well as FAIRUZA BALK as Dorothy Gale! Rokk.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Revenge of Fett

    by cyberskunk

    Return to Oz was a live-action movie put out by Disney with Nicole Williamson playing the main villain. I remember the cartoon you're referring to, but I only saw bits of it on television. Although, both Return to Oz and the cartoon had the pumpkinhead character. A-ha, imdb informs me the cartoon is Journey Back to Oz from 1974.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 9:13 a.m. CST

    The Two Most Over-used words on AICN...

    by GoodTimeBobby

    "Tonal" or "Tonality" and "Iconic". Run screaming from this project !!!

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Toto does not exist in this dojo

    by AlienDragQueen

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Olson, please pitch a new SUPERMAN film next!

    by YackBacker

    Based on his work on HISTORY OF VIOLENCE and what he describes above (and his friendly relationship w/ WB) Olson sounds like a good candidate.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Return to Oz is Lucas' secret film.

    by Azlam Orlandu

    He came in to direct after the original director was fired from the project. Although he's uncredited. It's all in 'The Creative Impulse' hardcover.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Wicked

    by The Alienist

    is not a sequel..its a prequel. And a somewhat deconstruction of the original Oz books, even in its musical theatre form.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Wicked is a good book.

    by Azlam Orlandu

    But I thought the musical was God-awful.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Did Lucas really direct any of it or did he just...

    by JediRob

    ...promise to step in if things went really bad for Walter Murch. I believe after they had already fired him once. I think it was with Lucas' endorsement that the studio decided to give Murch a chance.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Wait, wait... Ellison has a friend?

    by GoDFaDDa42

    I thought Harlan Ellison prided himself on a demeanor so... prickly that nobody could stand him. I think he's awesome, and his work is frequently terrific, but I don't know if anyone could be friends with the guy.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Journey Back to Oz was made by Filmation

    by CreamCheeseAlchemist

    Has a great voice cast, including Margaret Hamilton as Auntie Em and Liza Minnelli as Dorothy. But the story is terrible- nowhere more so than when Dorothy tries to get help from TIn Man and Lion, and they say no. I guess it's more on the camp-y side with Ethel Merman playing the witch and Paul Lynde as Pumpkinhead.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST

    This sounds like it could be promising

    by finky089

    The 2000's need more Flying Monkeys!

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST

    That's right, MORE FLYING MONKEYS!!

    by finky089

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 11 a.m. CST

    Bravo, Josh! Kudos, sir!

    by FeralAngel

    Well thank god SOMEBODY gets it about Oz. What's been done with that all-American fairy tale since its copyright lapsed has been horrifying. It's our country's Middle-Earth, and deserves better then to be "re-imagined" as a place where the Wicked Witch is lesbo and Dorothy is a pawn of Glinda. In the books, Dorothy weren't NOBODY'S flunky - she was a practical-minded farm girl smack in a land of wonders who didn't back down from anybody, including blustering lions. And the MGM film - sacred. That's all there is to it. I despise people who use other people's creation and don't respect it. That's why I totally sympathize with Disney for wanting to keep Mickey Mouse from becoming public domain. God knows what some envious hack would do to the little guy. Anyway, Josh, good luck with your project. Frankly, I don't know why a new Oz film can't be done in CGI, using the actual likenesses of the characters from the film. I mean, come on - nobody can match, much less top, Judy Garland's Dorothy or Ray Bolger's Scarecrow. As for the Harry Potter vibe...now that's where I caution you, Josh; the maudlin, drab, dark, ugly side of magic is Rowling's gimmick. It's the only thing that gave her lightweight prose any grit. Oz is a bright, colorful land and should be rendered as such. But anyway, I wish Josh the best of luck, trying to rediscover Oz. He'll need it...

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 11:01 a.m. CST

    More confirmation: McFarlane is full of shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by crackerfarmboy

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 11:10 a.m. CST

    I'm Glad Its A Sequel

    by FreeBeer

    This means it won't clash with boorman's version which is a retelling Boorman's version is released first, then we can what this as an unofficial continuation of the story.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 11:11 a.m. CST

    BTW, "The Land Of Oz" is the best Oz book

    by FeralAngel

    It's the sequel L. Frank Baum wrote after "The Wizard of Oz" and it's unlike THAT book or any other book in the series. A totally different tone, much more humorous (the guy could really write funny when he wanted to...sadly, his later books lacked energy and became a bit too precious) and even slyly satirical, with its gentle jabs at feminism and intellectualism. It's a great book, which is a bit surprising since Dorothy isn't in it...neither is the Cowardly Lion. Only the Tin Man and the Scarecrow, and you do miss Dot and the Lion a bit, but the new characters more than make up for them: The Highly Educated Woggle-bug, Jack Pumpkinhead, and the Sawhorse. Wonderfully imaginative stuff. And somehow, Baum envisages a revolution and coup in Oz without making it the least bit dark but uproariously funny. The most adult book in the series. Anyway, it'd rock if Josh made some use of it. I'd love to see the Sawhorse in CGI.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST

    oops

    by FreeBeer

    I meant to say I HOPE Boorman's version is releases first

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 11:15 a.m. CST

    what the hell!!!

    by FreeBeer

    ....retelling of the origional. I hope Boormas is releases first then we can enjoy it as a sort of unofficial continuation. There. What the hell is wrong with my brain??

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 11:37 a.m. CST

    josh clears his good name

    by will munny

    I'd be writing in too if I was being linked with McFarlane and this toy line in particular.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST

    "I was going for a Harry Potter tonality"...

    by Citizen Sane

    ... um, the Harry Potter movies (and books) are severly flawed in the fact that they take themselves waayyy too seriously, reflecting our current society's greatest (and sometimes most troubling) flaw. This kind of childhood or tween fantasy should exercise or encourage a tone of playful awe and discovery or at least a sense of mirth, like Baum's stories initially do. I am somewhat relieved by the notion that Warner's may be conducting rewrites to add more humor and perhaps prevent yet another disasterous studio adaptation.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 11:53 a.m. CST

    McFarlane? More like McFarlame.

    by Ronnie Pudding

    Easy gag I know, but Todd's been flapping his gums to anyone who'll listen about his "twisted" take on the project for a few years now. That's fine and all, but to drag another writer through the mud based on work he's likely never read is classless and sad. He really still thinks its the early 90s and someone still cares. My take on the subject, for what it's worth, can be found at Box Office Psychics site, linked below. http://tinyurl.com/l3me2t

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Sounds great

    by joelcrary

    Kudos to Josh. Hopefully his interest in the source material won't be filtered through countless rewrites by people who don't give a shit. "Return to Oz" is one of my favourite films, but they could take it into much greater territory. @FeralAngel "As for the Harry Potter vibe...now that's where I caution you, Josh; the maudlin, drab, dark, ugly side of magic is Rowling's gimmick. It's the only thing that gave her lightweight prose any grit. Oz is a bright, colorful land and should be rendered as such." You seem to know the books, but I think you're only half right in that statement. Oz IS a pretty dark and weird place at times, though I wouldn't call it "twisted". Baum always presented a healthy mix of both the colourful and the disturbing. They could tap into this current fascination that kids have with the dark tone of the Harry Potter world, which owes a great debt of gratitude to Baum's work to begin with, and turn out something really fantastic.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST

    A true sequel to the MGM classic would have to be Musical

    by Kikstad

    Otherwise it's another reboot. http://nickleshi.blogspot.com

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Wicked story

    by oisin5199

    I haven't read that book, but when I saw the musical (gift for the future ex-wife), I liked the story, thought it was pretty interesting but hated the music. I was thinking that this story could have been made for a great fantasy/dramatic film a la Neil Gaiman, but it was wasted on this lame musical. Of course, I might have felt differently had I seen the version with Kristin Chenoweth, goddess that she is.<p>but yeah, I really like the idea of going back to the books, or continuing on from Return to Oz (still pretty dark for a kids' films), and ignoring the MGM (a classic but deserves to be in its own universe).

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 12:21 p.m. CST

    And yes, the Wicked musical technically IS a sequel

    by Kikstad

    The musical on broadway begins right after the Wizard of Oz ends and the Wicked Witch is allegedly dead. Then the story goes into prequel mode for the rest of the play until it catches up to the events of Wizard of Oz, and then the ending is what happens next. The musical is very different from the book but I think it's so popular because of the music (which is great) and the fact that it really has a lot of inspiration from the MGM movie classic. If you love the movie starring Judy Garland, you'll probably enjoy Wicked.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 12:22 p.m. CST

    The version of Wicked that I saw

    by Kikstad

    was with the original amazing cast, if that makes a difference. Hope they're cast as the leads in the movie. They've both gone Hollywood now, so they probably have been. Have to check IMDB.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 12:23 p.m. CST

    I hope it's PG

    by Just_Some_Guy

    I wish they made more films both PG and awesome at the same time. I want to be able to take my kids to see these wonderful films, but sometimes can't. I hope Olsen is good on his word in making it child-friendly.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 12:31 p.m. CST

    I don't get the love for "Return to Oz"

    by FeralAngel

    Jeebus H. Christ, in that movie, Dorothy gets hauled off to the psychiatrist and gets shock treatments!!!! WTF? I did not recognize the Dorothy or the Oz in that film. It was an even worse adaptation than the Narnian Prince Caspian film. I hope Josh ignores that flick entirely while creating his Oz sequel. Oz deserves better. And yeah, the Oz in the books could be dark sometimes, but not THAT dark. Not LOTR dark, sure as hell not Potter dark. It had a touch of Grimm's fairy tale in it, but only a touch. Which made it so fun.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    FeralAngel

    by Sith Witch

    Prince Caspian was a "bad" adaptation? I found it to be one of the most incredibly faithful and heart-wrenching films ever conceived. Definitely my pick for best film of 2008.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Harry here, recently i've been on every set ever

    by Glory_Fades_ImMaxFischer

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 1:38 p.m. CST

    SEXING UP OZ

    by J-Dizzle

    So what about that news bit AICN posted? The one where WB brought in another writer to make the script more "sexy"

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Return to Oz pretty close to the source

    by uruk

    Return to Oz is fairly close to the original books it was based on. Its a bit of a mashup between the 2nd and 3rd Oz books. The actual books include the electroshock therapy, wheelers and headless witch that are in the movie. That's one of the reasons I don't get faux-dark McFarland types trying to make the series scary. Its already scary to adults (kids don't get it at that level) whereas BDSM and the like lacks any subtlety or dread. The original Wizard of Oz is relatively dark as well and misses a lot in musical form. The Tin Woodman chopped off his own body parts with a cursed axe. There was a town of porcelain dolls who could break by bumping in to them. Later nobody in Oz could die, so the fear of the characters was that they might be chopped into little pieces and left to eternity.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Mcfarlane's version is a mess I'm sure

    by alienindisguise

    He can't craft a story for shit and just throws gore and blood in place of character development. I hope his version dies and the good version spoken of here actually gets made.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 3:01 p.m. CST

    There are 14 Oz books!

    by Gozu

    Also, they already did Dorothy's Return to Oz in...RETURN TO OZ! I'm more interested in John Boorman's version/vision. Even if it's terrible (which it very well might be, he did do Exorcist II and Zardoz) it wil be compelling.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Harry, I have a quick, honest question.

    by Royston Lodge

    Are there ever times when you meet producers during a set visit, or whatever, where they AREN'T "very enthusiastic" about their next project?<p> It seems to me that a producer had better be "very enthusiastic" about the next project, and even if they aren't they had better at least tell film journalists they are.<p> So, curious, if there are times in the past when you met a producer who was, shall we say, "less than enthusiastic" about a project, would you ever be able to report on it?<p> Like, if you wrote an article which included a line like, "during a recent set visit I spoke with the producer, and he told me he'd rather be anywhere other than working on his next project," would you not get banned from any of that company's sets in the future?

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Regarding Oz sequels...

    by Royston Lodge

    I think the best way to make more Oz movies would be to leave Dorothy out of them. Judy Garland is simply too much of an icon for any actress to compete with her memory.<p>(It's like Joanne Whalley playing Scarlett O'Hara and Timothy Dalton playing Rhett Butler. It don't work.)

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 3:32 p.m. CST

    From McFarlane's site - source of confusion?

    by Merrick

    From McFarlane's website (here: http://tinyurl.com/lf7ax6 ) ================== WARNER BROS., VILLAGE ROAD SHOW PICTURES TO PRODUCE 'OZ' Feature Film Inspired by Todd's, 'Twisted Land of Oz' August 22, 2007 Copyright 2009 TMP International, Inc. ================ Sounds like a TWISTED project may've been in development at one point, but morphed into something else before Josh came on board. This news never penetrated Geek (or other) media, resulting in the confusion??

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Royston

    by YackBacker

    I think the challenge is how do you go back to these characters after their individual arcs have all been satisfactorily closed? I think the reason people love the original movie is that you have a real sense of completion. Re-opening those stories might not be worth it.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 5:17 p.m. CST

    WAR OF GODS in 2010

    by ZombieHeathLedger

    From Tarsem Singh. Story of Theseus will be "Caravaggio meets Fight Club" says, Tarsem. Nothing else matters.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 8:05 p.m. CST

    I too loved the barbecue.

    by johndillingers20inchseveredcock

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 11:20 p.m. CST

    Sith Witch, try reading the Narnia books

    by FeralAngel

    There was no scene in the PC book where a bunch of Narnians try to take the enemy's castle, get caught in it and get slaughtered. That was a totally made-up shit scene in the movie that had no correlation in the book. And the movie totally left out the part in the book where Aslan and his demigod buddies invade the town of Beruna. Which was the best part of the book no less. PC the movie was crapola. Only good part was the battle at the end when the trees destroyed the siege engines. But even that wasn't enough to save it. Still crapola.

  • Sept. 4, 2009, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Uruk, try reading the Oz books

    by FeralAngel

    I've read all 14 written by Baum and there was no freaking shock therapy in any of them. There was also never an instance in which Dorothy came back to Oz to find everyone turned to stone. And Return to Oz movie changed characters around (Langwidere's ability to change heads was given to a character named Mombi who, in the Land of Oz books, was an old witch with no such ability). Return to Oz was IMO a freaking dark boring mess with no magic, no charm, no flavor of its source material. If you like it, fine, but you got your facts a bit mixed up, dude.

  • Sept. 5, 2009, 12:45 a.m. CST

    YackBacker: Very astute observation.

    by Royston Lodge

    You get a coveted Royston Lodge No-Prize. Remember to polish it daily with pure beeswax. They tend to tarnish quickly.

  • Sept. 5, 2009, 1:51 a.m. CST

    I read somewhere like 8 years ago Liza Minelli was gonna be a gr

    by King Conan

    and she was in Kansas with her family and grandkids and had always told them of her great adventure that nobody believed. Then one day it started raining in Kansas..and KEPT raining for 15 days straight, the town was underwater people were dying and what it actually was, was the Wicked Witch of the West, still alive in Oz creating a new storm to suck Dorothy back into Oz for revenge. I remember they said Liza would play Dorothy until she went back to Oz, but Dorothy would turn young again once she crosses over to Oz and hooks back up with her friends to battle the Witch again and this time save Oz AND Kansas. It seemed pretty interesting, if even only a cash grab...i think it was called "Surrender Dorothy" Coincidentally Liza "voiced" Dorothy for the animated Wizard of Oz movie

  • Sept. 5, 2009, 2:51 a.m. CST

    I've always wanted to trip and watch 'Wizard of Oz'...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    anyone?

  • Sept. 5, 2009, 3:40 a.m. CST

    But will it have -

    by ElvisPresLeeHorsleyHarveyOswaldOprahWinFreeJackHorkheimer

    - Bill Cosby in a hot air balloon?

  • Sept. 5, 2009, 5:44 a.m. CST

    Why can't hollywood come up with something new

    by juwon1982

    The constant remakes are becoming disgusting, please please come up with something new and stop stealing form other peoples creative ability and effort!!

  • Sept. 5, 2009, 10:42 a.m. CST

    FeralAngel

    by BurnHollywood

    I read all 14 Baum Oz books too and I fucking loved RETURN TO OZ. uruk's completely right...it was exactly in the vein of the originals. Harlan Ellison thought so too, as I remember.<p> And I don't know where your feigned objection to "shock treatment" is coming from...the in-joke was that at that point at the turn of the century, there WERE a lot of quack, pseudoscience "cures" being touted. In any case, Dorothy escapes and the nasty old doctor and his evil nurse wind up dead and in prison respectively. Spooky and bold, I thought.<p> What's more, the movie was steampunk before steampunk became cool...fuck, that sweet Tik-Tok practical effects costume was worth the price of admission.

  • Sept. 5, 2009, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Other OZ movies

    by kitkats99

    Aside from Journey Back to OZ that had Liza Minelli as Dorothy and was a bit of a mess..There was also a pretty sweet Wizard of Oz anime movie that was released in Japan and then dubbed for American audiences where Aileen Quinn from Annie did the voice of Dorothy and it was pretty good. It was still not completely faithful to the book but it was a very good different take on the first book at least. If you want to see a very accurate take on one of the Baum books, hunt for a VHS copy of The Marvelous Land of OZ. It a taped copy of a play put on by a childrens theatre in Minneapolis that is quite good and pretty true to the book and anybody who has seen Return to OZ will recognize the parts that were ripped off from Land of OZ. The rest of Return was filled out with plot lines from Ozma of OZ.

  • Sept. 5, 2009, 9:11 p.m. CST

    How about sending Dorothy to . . .

    by Royston Lodge

    . . . a maximum security penitentiary in upstate New York?<p> I kid! I kid! I kid, because I love.

  • Sept. 5, 2009, 9:43 p.m. CST

    BurnHollywood, we'll have to disagree

    by FeralAngel

    I guess I'm just one of the vast unwashed masses who detested Return To Oz, which in some small way helped it flop at the box office. Not that I'm losing any sleep over it...

  • Sept. 6, 2009, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Return to Oz was a crime in so much as...

    by white_vader

    the production design was absolutely fantastic, but the cinematography was bloody awful. Sorta cancelling things out! All that great work on the sets and characters and costumes and all, but mostly butt-ugly lighting and shots. <p> And yes, Tik Tok was awesome. I went to the Archives building at Skywalker Ranch many years ago and that thing is big, man.

  • Sept. 7, 2009, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Just adapt 'Wicked'

    by keter

    The book, not the Broadway musical.

  • Sept. 7, 2009, 6:38 p.m. CST

    FUCK McFarlane's shit idea!

    by ZodNotGod

    Fuck McFarlane, that was a shitty idea! Baum has 15 books for writers to work from, I hope they get something right. Two flicks in the last 60 years is not very good.