Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures are joining forces on Oz, a revisionist take on the original The Wizard of Oz books by L. Frank Baum.
The project is based on an idea by Todd McFarlane; Josh Olson (A History of Violence) will write and McFarlane will produce with Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk. Rick Benattar (Shoot ‘Em Up) is exec producer.
The news was released exclusively by Variety magazine on Wednesday, Aug. 22, generating a lot of buzz in the entertainment industry – and among McFarlane fans as well.
Todd’s take on the classic is decidedly edgier than the original story, and McFarlane’s Twisted Land of Oz action figures have a cult following among collectors. Olson’s vision will tame that down a bit.
“I saw those toys, and Dorothy as some bondage queen isn’t something I want to do,” Olson told Daily Variety. “The appealing thing about the Baum books to me is how wildly imaginative they are. There are crazy characters from amazing places. I want this to be Harry Potter dark, not Seven dark.”
Todd and Olson are in agreement on their vision for the project.
“My pitch was ‘How do we get people who went to Lord of the Rings to embrace this?’ ” he says. “I want to create (an interpretation) that has a 2007 wow factor. You’ve still got Dorothy trapped in an odd place, but she’s much closer to the Ripley from ‘Alien’ than a helpless singing girl.”
Stay tuned to SPAWN.com for more details as they become available