Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures are teaming on Oz, a revisionist take on the L. Frank Baum books that hatched The Wizard of Oz.
The project was acquired based on an idea by Todd McFarlane that was fleshed out and pitched by Josh Olson (A History of Violence).
Olson will write and McFarlane will produce with Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk. Rick Benattar (Shoot ‘Em Up) is exec producer.
McFarlane has a vision of Oz that is a dark, edgy and muscular PG-13, without a singing Munchkin in sight.
“The appealing thing about the Baum books to me is how wildly imaginative they are. There are crazy characters from amazing places. I want this to be ‘Harry Potter’ dark, not ‘Se7en’ dark,” Olson told Variety.
“My pitch was ‘How do we get people who went to ‘Lord of the Rings’ to embrace this?'” McFarlane said. “I want to create (an interpretation) that has a 2007 wow factor. You’ve still got Dorothy trapped in an odd place, but she’s much closer to the Ripley from ‘Alien’ than a helpless singing girl.”
Olson was keeping plot specifics to himself but said the film will be closer to a sequel than a remake.