Prepare to get together with your dearest companions and follow the yellow block road all over again. Today, Deadline revealed that Warner Bros. is bringing us back to the land of Oz in another telling of The Wizard of Oz. Sharing the magic with an entirely different generation, the studio has tapped Kenya Barris (BlackAF, black-ish) to pen and direct the upcoming creation.
While we as a whole know the tale of how Dorothy was carried away by a tornado to the magical land of Oz, it’s unclear as to the amount of the original story Barris will stay with for his adaptation. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the creative will act as a chief and maker under his Khalabo Ink Society banner, however as for the story, it’s anyone’s presumption. With the original on-screen take of The Wizard of Oz taking place in a then present-day 1939, it seems as though Barris’ will get it and drop it in today’s reality. Could this toss a pandemic turn on the bright and dizzying venture Dorothy takes alongside her upbeat companions? We definitely expect as much!
With tunes by Harold Arlen and an all-star cast that included Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin, Pat Walshe, Clara Blandick, and Terry the little guy as Toto, the Victor Fleming helmed technicolor creation raked in a whopping six Oscar nominations when it came out in 1939. Rapidly becoming a commonly recognized name, the mythos and story surrounding The Wizard of Oz has been entertaining branch-offs and bringing about new adaptations for almost 100 years.
The original creation was itself an adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s youngsters’ book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was initially placed into publication in 1900. Lately, The Wizard of Oz has seen spinoffs like the musical-turned film The Wiz and book-turned musical-turned film, Wicked. Both of these tasks saw new imaginations of the original story given a spin, with Wicked, in any event, giving a prequel tale to the existence of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.
This new imagining of The Wizard of Oz is in great hands with Barris, who presently has a CVS length receipt of new ventures not too far off. Also coming down the remake chute, Barris will back a reimagining of the 1992 parody, White Men Can’t Jump. He’ll also be shining a light on the existence of legendary comedian Richard Pryor, and working on an animated flick that will feature music by Bob Marley. And then there’s a team up with Grammy Award winner Pharrell Williams that will see the couple working next to each other on a musical revolved around the narrative of Juneteenth. Presently, Barris is heading into laying the final addresses for his feature-length directorial debut, You People which he wrote alongside Jonah Hill. The satire boasts an A-rundown lineup that includes any semblance of Hill, Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lauren London, Nia Long, and David Duchovny. On the smaller screen, Barris and Kid Cudi’s adult animated series Intergalactic hits Netflix one month from now.