‘Wizard of Oz’ remake is officially in works with director Nicole Kassell

It is the era of remakes and reboots and New Line Cinema has decided to bring a fresh take to the cult classic ‘The Wizard Of Oz’.

Nicole Kassell, an executive director and producer of HBO’s Emmy-winning Watchmen series, will direct the new Wizard of Oz. Kassell is well aware that she’ll be dealing with a classic story that’s beloved by millions.

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.”

But Kassell’s version will not be a musical. New Line is calling it a “fresh take” and a “reimagining” of the tale. And because New Line’s parent, Warner Bros. Pictures, owns the rights to the 1939 film, the upcoming adaptation might refer to some of the trademarked elements from that version, including the ruby slippers.

The original Wizard of Oz, 1939 film starring Judy Garland is considered one of the greatest films of all time, and is one of several adaptations of L Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It featured the song Over the Rainbow, which won an Academy Award for best original song. 

Efforts to remake or reimagine the story have included the 1970s Broadway show The Wiz, which later became a film starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. There have been several remakes and spinoffs, including long-running Broadway hit Wicked and 2013 Disney film Oz the Great and Powerful starring James Franco.

Kasell said, “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!”

While we wait for more information on this adaptation, let’s revisit the original The Wizards of Oz movie.