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Tuesday 20 March 2018

Wizard of Oz set for 3D remake

Actress Judy Garland, as Dorothy Gale, holding Toto in the orginal Wizard of Oz. Photo: Getty Images
Actress Judy Garland, as Dorothy Gale, holding Toto in the orginal Wizard of Oz. Photo: Getty Images

Anita Singh

The Wizard of Oz is to be remade for the 21st century, with 3D special effects and a very modern Dorothy.

Inspired by the box office success of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, executives at Warner Bros are pressing ahead with an update of the childhood classic.

The studio is weighing up two rival projects which take Frank Baum's original story as their starting point, and will be very different from the 1939 film starring Judy Garland.

The first is Oz, produced by the team behind the Twilight franchise and aimed at the teen market.

The second, as-yet-untitled film has a darker tone and moves the action closer to the present day, with Dorothy's granddaughter returning to Oz to fight the forces of evil. The script has been written by Josh Olson, whose previous credits include David Cronenberg's A History of Violence.

Both projects have been in development for some time, but the surprise success of Alice in Wonderland has spurred Warner Bros into action, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Tim Burton's re-imagining of the Lewis Carroll tale has met with mixed review from critics but took an astonishing €230m worldwide on its opening weekend, eclipsing Avatar.

The studio is keen to capitalise on the current vogue for 3D movies, and believes a new Wizard of Oz film could spawn a franchise.

It has been remade before - The Wiz, released in 1978, featured an all-black cast including Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow.

Other remakes of Hollywood classics in the offing include a new version of My Fair Lady, with Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan frontrunners to take Audrey Hepburn's role of Eliza Doolittle, and Hugh Grant tipped to play Professor Henry Higgins.


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