Since its premiere, the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” has cemented itself as a cultural touchstone that has been beloved by generations of fans. The iconic movie was adapted from the 1900 children’s novel, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. Throughout the years, the source material has seen many new iterations on the screen, on stage and in books.
Now, the classic story is getting yet another modern-day update in the form of a movie from New Line Cinema. It’s being directed by Nicole Kassell (“Watchmen”).
“I am incredibly honored to join Temple Hill and New Line in bringing this beloved classic to the screen,” Kassell said in a statement. “While the 1939 musical is part of my DNA, I am exhilarated and humbled by the responsibility of reimagining such a legendary tale. 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!”
The new movie will be produced by Temple Hill partners Matty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey as well as Marc Platt (“Bridge of Spies,” “La La Land”). Isaac Klausner (“Love, Simon,” “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”) will serve as executive producer. So far, no details regarding casting or a production timeline have been announced.
In addition to the forthcoming New Line Cinema film, the “Wizard of Oz” universe is getting another contemporary spinoff with “Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz,” an animated musical based on the 2017 children’s book by the same name written by Micahel Morpurgo and illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark.
This twist on the “Wizard of Oz” story focuses on the perspective of Toto, the beloved dog of the main character, Dorothy. The animated musical will be made by Warners Bros.’ and Animal Logic. It’s currently in pre-production.