'Corpse Bride' Co-Director Mike Johnson Looks to Start 'Oz Wars'

December 15, 2010
Source: Variety

Wizard of Oz

While it sounds like we don't have to worry about a Wizard of Oz remake anytime soon, that doesn't mean other filmmakers aren't interested in journeying to the great land of Oz with some different stories. We know Sam Raimi is set to direct Robert Downey Jr. in Oz: The Great and Powerful, and it looks like another director is ready to go down the yellow brick road. Variety reports Mike Johnson, who co-directed The Corpse Bride with Tim Burton, will direct the CG/stop-motion animated film Oz Wars for Vanguard Films. The story sees Dorothy caught in a whirlwind of warrior witches, black magic, martial arts and monsters with a contemporary touch.

Vanguard Films is making a big push to for new talent and content recently as the company recently landed Kung Fu Panda co-director John Stevenson to a production deal which includes the feature Alien Rock Band. They're certainly getting some talented people in the animation department under their belt. Johnson also previously worked as an animator on The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach and also directed episodes of the short-lived stop-motion animated series "The PJ's." Playing with the world of Oz is risky since the property is such a beloved piece of cinema, but with all the alternate takes on favorite stories, it's not surprising. Frankly, I just want to see Wicked finally hit the big screen. How about you?

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ahhh, the pj's!!!

Ed Truck on Dec 15, 2010


There's such a vast library of material from the original books with which to work, I don't know why everyone feels they need to ad a "Contemporary touch" to the stories. Martial arts? That makes me a bit nervous...

Pendy Sixteen on Dec 15, 2010


That picture gave me such a flashback to that game Loom!

RJ on Dec 15, 2010


Why can't a faithful version of any of the books be done? The original movie is nothing like the book it is based on. The sequel, Return to Oz, gets a few more things right but still isn't great. And none of these sound anything like any of the Oz books. It is time for a faithful adaption.

Philstar22 on Mar 22, 2011

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