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Robert Zemeckis In Talks To Direct Remake Of 1939 'The Wizard Of Oz'

by Kevin Jagernauth
November 17, 2010 12:06 AM
8 Comments
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With "Alice In Wonderland" turning over a billion dollars, it seems every studio in town is now in the race to bring fables and classic stories to the big screen. Disney has their Rapunzel tale, "Tangled," set to hit theaters soon and they've got the Sam Raimi-directed "Oz: The Great And Powerful" getting ready to begin production next year. Meanwhile over at Warner Bros., they dropped the trailer for their new version of "Red Riding Hood" and they've dusted off one of the most celebrated classic titles in their catalog and are preparing it for a reboot.

Deadline reports that Warner Bros. are in early talks with Robert Zemeckis to remake "The Wizard Of Oz" using the 1939 script for the film. Zemeckis is an interesting, though also totally boring, choice and given that he's set to direct "The Yellow Submarine" early next year, it appears that any involvement would have to come once his commitment to that project is finished.

But, really, does "The Wizard Of Oz" need to be remade? Warner Bros. has poured all kinds of money into restoring the film over and over (most recently for its highly acclaimed BluRay release) and the film is beloved by generations of families and film lovers. The thought of Zemeckis mo-capping the shit out of it into some kind of 3D CGI spectacle makes us ill. Again, these are early talks so anything can happen. Here's hoping "The Yellow Submarine" and the potential time travel flick "Timeless" keep his attention away from manhandling "The Wizard Of Oz" and let's see if Warner Bros. can come to their senses and stop this terrible idea.

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8 Comments

  • rodie | November 17, 2010 4:47 AMReply

    Wow, a Zemeckis project that makes even LESS sense than remaking Yellow Submarine, which will be somewhat enjoyable and fun compared to a Wizard of Oz remake which will likely feel sad and 100% unnecessary. Will he do a mo-cap 3D version of The Godfather next?!? Maybe!

  • Sean | November 17, 2010 2:22 AMReply

    Why not remake the terrible films of the 50s? Plan 9 is just asking to be remade.
    But leave the classics alone because if this happens, i expect to see a remake of Citizen Kane.
    If anything though, i rather see people try their hands at stuff like Ed Wood or Shadow of the Vampire. Films about the behind the scenes and even fictionalize everything.

  • Daniel | November 17, 2010 1:53 AMReply

    I wish there weren't such a knee jerk reaction to remakes -- even remakes of classics.

    There are really only three possible outcomes to any given remake: 1) it's bad and it's forgotten (Psycho), 2) it's just as good (Gaslight), or it's debateably better (Let Me In, the 79 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers).

    With the last two, you've got a good film, so that's good. With the first case -- who cares?

    In fact, who cares either way? If you don't want to see a remake of The Wizard of Oz, please don't. You will always have the original, which won't be harmed in any way. It will not be saved-over, we promise.

    In fact, you get the added bonus of being able to look down your nose at anyone who likes the new one, which should make you feel just grand, even if you haven't seen it.

    Finally, please, please drop the pretentious '3d is bad' argument. Art is good or bad, not technology. I agree that 3d is most often used as a novelty to charge more for bad film. 3d did not make My Bloody Valentine 3D bad; it was already bad. Likewise, 3d will not automatically make Herzog's new 'Cave of Forgotten Dreams' good or bad. But I have faith that, because he's a good filmmaker, it will be good -- and because he is working with a different technology-- it will be good in an interesting new way.

    Saying that any technology has artistic merit in and of itself, artist be damned, is embarrassingly shallow, and obviously false; it has more to do with how someone wants to be seen for liking something, rather than whether they truly enjoy it. If you prefer the 2d, folks, see the 2d; but please dispense with the posing.

    Besides some films could use being remade; or am i the only one who can say the original Wizard of Oz has always creeped me out a little bit?

  • Gabe Toro | November 17, 2010 1:35 AMReply

    I'm voting a "hell fucking no" on this.

  • Ralph Walker | November 17, 2010 1:26 AMReply

    ...the witch is dead

  • Emma | November 17, 2010 12:52 AMReply

    I hate 3D. But hell thats Hollywood for you. I never see the 3D version of films because I prefer 2D thank you. I am excited that people are interested in bringing more fables and classic stories to the screen as long as they don't turn them into crap. But please don't touch the Wizard of Oz because it's amazing.

  • sarcastic guy | November 17, 2010 12:40 AMReply

    A Christmas Carol, Yellow Submarine and now this.

    Zemeckis really digs original projects !

  • amanda | November 17, 2010 12:40 AMReply

    I hate Hollywood.

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