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Oh my! A ‘Wizard of Oz’ remake is officially in the works

“I am eager to dance alongside these heroes of my childhood as we pave a newly minted yellow brick road!” director Nicole Kassell says

“The Wizard of Oz” will be one of the musicals on the big screen for SLFS’s the Greatest series.
Dorothy and her companions gaze upon the distant Emerald City in 1939’s MGM film “The Wizard of Oz”
Deseret News archives

The yellow brick road will be trod once again.

According to The Associated Press, New Line Cinema is developing a new feature adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s famous novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and Nicole Kassell is tabbed as the project’s director.

The site reports that Kassell’s version will be a “fresh take” on the classic story, and while it will borrow some elements from the popular 1939 film, it won’t be a musical.

Kassell commented on the announcement with a written statement that said (via Variety):

“While the 1939 musical is part of my DNA, I am exhilarated and humbled by the responsibility of re-imagining 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!”

According to IMDb, Kassell’s previous directing credits include the 2004 film “The Woodsman” and 2011’s “A Little Bit of Heaven.” More recently, she has been directing episodes of prestige television for HBO. In 2020, she was awarded a Primetime Emmy for her work on the network’s graphic superhero series “Watchmen.”

Baum’s famous characters have graced the big screen on myriad occasions over the years. While the 1939 film with Judy Garland is perhaps the most popular, HuffPost notes that a sequel, “Return to Oz” was released in 1985 and in 2013 Walt Disney Studios produced a prequel film, “Oz the Great and Powerful.” Additionally, “The Wiz” and “Wicked,” two musical plays based on Baum characters, have appeared on Broadway.

HuffPost reported Kassell’s new film is not the only upcoming project that will take place in the land of Oz, as earlier this month it was announced that Jon M. Chu, the director of 2018’s “Crazy Rich Asians,” has signed on to direct a feature adaptation of “Wicked.”