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There is a new adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in development

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel is now in the public domain. It is getting a new adaptation over at New Line Cinema. Nicole Kassell (Watchmen TV show) will be directing.

There have been many adaptations of the book in both film and TV – The Wiz, Oz The Great and Powerful, Return to Oz, Tin Man to name just a few. Hell, Dorothy and the Wicked Witch even turned up in a few episodes of Supernatural. Obviously, the 1939 MGM musical by Victor Fleming and starring Judy Garland is the most famous. Before you go running to the hills screaming “they’re going to ruin it,” just take a breath and remember that Judy Garland as Dorothy will still be there to comfort you should this new version end up being lousy.

Do we need another adaptation? Probably not, but that could have been said about the 1939 film as there had already been seven live-action film adaptations before that one. Also, with all the crap that is currently going on in the world then a lovely comforting fantasy film about a girl and her dog having adventures in the land of Oz and making new friends and saving the world should be something to look forward to.

Kassell’s version will not be a musical, but it will be a “fresh take” and a “reimagining” of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” As Warner Bros. owns New Line and the 1939 film. That means it can use some trademarked elements like the ruby slippers.

“While the 1939 musical is part of my DNA, I am exhilarated and humbled by the responsibility of re-imagining such a legendary tale,” said Kassell in a statement. “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!”

Kassell is an executive producer of HBO’s “Watchmen” and directed three of its nine episodes, including the pilot. She has worked primarily in television but directed the feature films “The Woodsman” and “A Little Bit of Heaven.”

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