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"The Wizard of Oz": The next big film franchise?

Vernikova

Champion
Yahoo!

It appears Dorothy Gale is, once again, not going to be in Kansas any more. With the "Harry Potter" franchise winding down, Warner Brothers has set their sights on building another franchise geared toward young adults based on one of the most popular films of all time, "The Wizard of Oz."

Warner Brothers has had two separate projects in development over the past year centered around wide-eyed Dorothy Gale from Kansas -- a role made iconic by Judy Garland in 1939 -- who finds herself swept off (literally) to a magical land full of eccentric creatures called Oz. The box-office take of"Alice in Wonderland" -- $133 million domestically, and counting -- makes this project seem even more attractive.

Warner Brothers' New Line division has a version of the film written by Darren Lemke -- who helped write "Shrek Forever After" -- and produced by "Twilight" producer Temple Hill.(It's only fitting that "Twilight" would somehow be connected to a potential teen hit.) This version would not have any musical numbers and would be more faithful to "Oz" author L. Frank Baum's source material.

The second version would be set closer to the present and most likely be even darker. Especially considering that it's written by Josh Olson, who is best known for writing the screenplay for the bleak Viggo Mortensen thriller, "A History of Violence."

"Oz" is tempting for Warner Brothers for quite a few reasons. First and foremost, it could possibly fill the void left when the "Harry Potter" franchise ends. "Potter," of course, attracted an audience that skewed to a younger adult crowd; the same demographic "Oz" would target.

L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" -- the book that "The Wizard of Oz" is based on -- is just the first story in a series that spans 14 books. All fourteen books are now part of public domain. The original film, however, is not in public domain. In other words: Any reproduction of an element that was solely a part of the film's story and not the book will have rights fees still associated.

In 1985, Disney released "Return to Oz" which was based on Baum's second and third books in the series, "Ozma of Oz" and "The Marvelous Land of Oz." Disney had to pay royalties to MGM for use of the ruby red slippers.
This leads to an interesting question about the moneymaking potential of a new "Oz" franchise (ticket sales are but one revenue generator for films). Licensing merchandise may prove difficult, considering the books are in public domain. Could anyone license "Oz" merchandise? The short answer is "yes." But the general understanding is more complicated. Any new film, just like the original, would not be in public domain. Any merchandise based on characters depicted the way they appear in the new or original film would be protected. Though, it does appear that general merchandise based on the original books is fair game. What's the exact difference? If the new films are successful, that may be for a court to decide
Could it actually be the next big thing? It seems Warner is willing to try and personally I wouldn't mind if they did.
 

Dattebayo

Banned
I can see a lot of fans of the original movie whining and complaining about this now because it's "raping their childhood."
 

PsychedelicJellyfish

formerly R. New
The Wizard of Oz, except less nauseatingly happy-go-lucky and innocent and with no songs? Sounds goddamn good to me. I look forward to it ^_^
 

Lorde

Banned
The next big thing? Maybe, I don't personally see the appeal, I thought the original film was great though. I don't think it'll be a bad thing, though the "no musical numbers" part is kind of depressing, I like musicals. I'm more surprised that they're going to attempt a revamp of the series.
 
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mitchman_93

AND IT WAS THIS BIG!
Then we'll be seeing "Team Scarecrow" and "Team Tin Man" all over the place.
:p
No, you have to use Team Lion to make sure it works. His mane would just woo the girls over, and the fact that the tin man shines all in a sleek silver its just too perfect to not do!
 

Dattebayo

Banned
Their remaking a lot of things from the past cause they're all running out of ideas.

Hollywood isn't that original in the first place. Most of their popular movies are based off of previous source material.
 
No, you have to use Team Lion to make sure it works. His mane would just woo the girls over, and the fact that the tin man shines all in a sleek silver its just too perfect to not do!

haha yes, just what we need, something else for teen girls to obsess over.
 

Aquadon

TCG Trainer
Give it to Stephanie Myers to insure major hit status.

I'm just going to say please let it stop here. Let's not turn this into one of those threads.

My initial thought was, "Why are they going to soil what is a classic movie?", until I read the blurb that's in Rebecca's post. I must say, if they can pull off 14 good movies in the next 20 years to keep audiences coming, I'll be intrigued. I had no idea that "Oz" was a series, and I'm sure a fair amount of people won't know either until they announce the "Oz" series is going to be in production. It's going to be weird though if they want to keep the same actors around for a 14 film franchise (13 if they decide not to tamper with the Wizard). I could easily see it as a "Wonderland" though, where people don't like the sequel of the flim at all.

I'll see how this one plays out. I might be interested.
 

Skiks

MUCH RESPECT
I remember reading the Oz books when I was younger. They were great. Yeah people always forget the Wizard of Oz movie technically raped the series first. So I'm all for the books to come to life on the big screen.
 

woot21

super noob
I think I'll just stick with the AVGN's sequel.

woot21 out dawgs
 

Shneak

this is a Nessa x Sonia stan account ✨
I'm scared. I guess I should read the series, but the movie was so good.
 
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