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Details Emerge on Josh Olson's Wizard of Oz Follow-Up Flick

by
January 4, 2010
Source: Pajiba

Wizard of Oz

Awhile back, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane spoke of an idea to adapt his Twisted Land of Oz action figure line into a narrative sequel to 1939's classic The Wizard of Oz. Later, word came that A History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olson had stepped up to pen the follow-up, but McFarlane wanted it to be darker saying he "was curious about how we went from what I pitched to what I called Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." However, Olson has said he was never hired to write from McFarlane's ideas and has confirmed (via MTV) some killer details on his own script Oz: Return to the Emerald City uncovered by Pajiba.

So even though it seems like there's a couple different ideas to go back to the Emerald City, Olson says there was only ever one that he was involved in and that his was "based entirely on my own ideas, and the works of L. Frank Baum, the brilliant creator of Oz. My goal was to create a feature film that would be faithful to both Baum's wonderful books, and the classic MGM film." And it sounds like he has done just that in the extended logline that Pajiba has uncovered:

It’s a modern-day sequel. The story centers on Dorothy Neil, a bright and ambitious young lawyer for a prestigious law firm in Chicago. Neil is the grand-daughter of Dorothy Gale, who is now an old woman living in Kansas and telling her tales about her time in the land of Oz to a new generation of kids. However, trouble is afoot in Oz, as a new witch is destroying the magic that keeps the entire place running. While babysitting her boss' kid, the kid and Dorothy Neil are brought back to Oz and united with the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow and tasked with killing an evil witch and restoring order in Oz.

Similar to Steven Spielberg's jaunt into Neverland with Hook, this story aims to re-visit the magical land of Oz, but with a contemporary twist. While I like the idea of moving the story to a new generation with Dorothy's grand-daughter, the idea of just another witch coming along to Oz again seems a bit redundant. It might be more interesting if an unknown male companion of the Wicked Witch of the West returns to Oz after long travels only to discover that his lover has been killed. Being a dark wizard himself, he wreaks havoc on the Emerald City and must be stopped. Of course I'm just spit-balling here, and the only real background of the personal life of the Wicked Witch comes from Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Of course, that story in itself may jump to the big screen as well in the near future.

Either way, it sounds like we'll see some sort of cinematic return to the Emerald City at some point. But since Warner Bros. wasn't entirely satisfied with Olson's first iteration of Oz and is currently seeking a re-write, and McFarlene's project is all but dead in the water, it might not be anytime soon. Only time will tell. Do you want to go back to the Emerald City?

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  • Xerxex
    It’s a modern-day sequel. The story centers on Dorothy Neil, a bright and ambitious young lawyer for a prestigious law firm in Chicago. Neil is the grand-daughter of Dorothy Gale, who is now an old woman living in Kansas and telling her tales about her time in the land of Oz to a new generation of kids. However, trouble is afoot in Oz, as a new witch is destroying the magic that keeps the entire place running. While babysitting her boss' kid, the kid and Dorothy Neil are brought back to Oz and united with the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow and tasked with killing an evil witch and restoring order in Oz. ummm...no.
  • Quanah
    They need to get away from that big corporate lawyer storyline. That's a copycat of "Hook." I'd take it back to a farm. Keep Dorothy as the grandmother. Have her a town story teller that the towns folk think is sweet, but a little touched in the head. Have her daughter on the verge of losing the farm due to a government takeover, or a hostile takeover from a competing corporate farm chain. Let's say a rep from the corporation/government is some nasty bitch (or dare I say "witch"). The grandmother, Dorothy, knows she's evil and begins to tell her granddaughter that she's the only one who can save the farm. Let's say she tells her how to get back to Oz. Now, the granddaughter (who's 14-16...Maybe have a young actress like Saoirse Ronan play the part) thinks her grandmother's sweet, but a little senile. The granddaughter talks to her mother about it one stormy night, and her mother reveals that her grandmother is telling the truth. Maybe her mother tells her daughter that since her grandmother, every generation of girls that have been born have had to return to Oz...Etc. I'm getting carried away. Basically, get away from the damn "Now the daughter's a lawyer and has forgotten the simple life" bit. Let's get back to the farm. Bring the lawyers, corporations, and government to the farm, but keep Oz grounded at the farm. Sigh. /end rant
  • Frightened Inmate #2
    Killing another witch again? Maybe they shouldnt bother with another movie.
  • Cineprog
    Tell me who will put up the money for this garbbage. A new witch appears in OZ it's just so lame. I would say leave it a lone. :(
  • eric
    they got it right with Return to OZ,amazing movie.Could it happen again?Probably not in this Hollywood.
  • LV 426
    I think they should at least give it another go Return to oz was a bit mad and dark which isnt too bad but for another witch to apper could be possible, because in the first film there was the witch that was splated under the house...witch of the east and the nice with of the north and of course the wicked witch of the west but never any mention of the witch of the SOUTH!! so who knows maybe its time for that fuckin witch to get her broom out.
  • Nada Nuff
    It could be incredible, but people are still gonna compare it to the original and hate it. Both because that film is so celebrated and because the contemporary aspects are gonna make it seem less genuine. It'll be The Phantom Menace/Kingdom of the Crystal Skull all over again, reviled because it didn't live up to our preconceived expectations. Personally, I think the idea is blah. Normally I love adaptations, but this one isn't grabbin' me.
  • guh
    I'd very much rather see McFarlane's version come to the big screen.
  • Chanel
    Let me first say, I prefer The Wiz or the The Wizard of Oz. Sorry...lol. Second, I think a darker version will be better. Look at the remake of Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp, that looks fun and creepy. Just don't turn it into Charlie and the Chocolate Factory... That was the......sad.
  • ekko90
    I agree with number "8" Id rather see Mcfarlane's version as well! I'd love to see a twisted Wizard Of Oz but there's no way to capture the same as the original. I wish people wouldnt compare and contrast so much. I really hope Mcfarlane plays a part in this.
  • Alfredo
    This movie sounds ridiculous. It sounds like one of those Disney Channel movies. Why does she have to be successful and ambitious? So.. what... is she gonna learn that money is not all that there is to life? That magic is real, and everyone lived happily ever after? Booooring! Cliche after cliche. Just make it dark and change the tone of it completely, THEN it'll get interesting.
  • Kamish
    I like it...any trip to OZ is good with me, though it's not likely to do the original justice...who do you cast in the iconic roles... Here's mine list for the roles... Anne Hathaway - Dorothy Nathan Lane - Lion John C. Reilly - Tin Man Steve Carell - Scare Crow Dustin Hoffman- The Wizard Sigourney Weaver - Wicked Witch Helen Mirren - Glenda the good Witch

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