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Wizard Of Oz remake announced headed by Watchmen director Nicole Kassell

Written by on 11 February 2021

A new production of The Wizard Of Oz is in the works, headed up by director Nicole Kassell and created by New Line Cinema.

Based on the 1900 novel – The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz – the story of Dorothy and her pet dog Toto being swept from Kansas into the Land of Oz has been made into multiple films, musicals and TV shows over the years.

Of course, the most well-known adaptation is the 1939 classic starring Judy Garland, which took Technicolor to a whole new level and is one of the most popular movies ever made.

Watchmen. Pic: Sky/ HBO Image: Nicole Kassell directed Sky Atlantic superhero drama Watchmen. Pic: Sky/HBO

New Line – a subsidiary of Warner Bros – have promised a “fresh take” on the beloved story.

However classic elements including the yellow brick road, the Munchkins, the ruby slippers, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion will inevitably take centre stage.

Speaking about her role leading the remake, Kassell, who recently directed Sky Atlantic superhero drama Watchmen, paid tribute to the classic movie.

She said: “While the 1939 musical is part of my DNA, I am exhilarated and humbled by the responsibility of reimagining such a legendary tale.

“The opportunity to examine the original themes – the quest for courage, love, wisdom and home – feels more timely and urgent than ever.

“These are profoundly iconic shoes to fill, and I am eager to dance alongside these heroes of my childhood as we pave a newly minted yellow brick road!”

Jakob Gerlich, Jerry Maren and Harry Doll in The Wizard Of Oz - 1939  Image: Classic elements are sure to return, image shows actors Jakob Gerlich, Jerry Maren and Harry Doll in 1939; Pic: MGM/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

The last big-screen version of the classic was the 2013 Walt Disney stab at a wizard origin story in Oz The Great And Powerful.

Starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams, the movie did well enough at the box office but wasn’t loved by critics.

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In a pleasing naming coincidence, Kassell’s first feature film was a thriller titled The Woodsman, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2004.

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