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