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‘Wizard of Oz’ Remake Announced with ‘Watchmen’ Director

Only about a week ago, I wrote about the announcement of Jon M. Chu as the director of a “Wicked” movie. Now, on the heels of that announcement, it seems director Nicole Kassell wants in on all the fun. Coming hot off directing 3 episodes of HBO’s “Watchmen,” Kassell will take the yellow brick road for her next project. New Line is set to produce a remake of 1939s “The Wizard of Oz.”

In a statement, Kassell said: 

“I am incredibly honored to join Temple Hill and New Line in bringing this beloved classic to the screen. While the 1939 musical is part of my DNA, I am exhilarated and humbled by the responsibility of re-imagining 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!”

Not everyone’s onboard with this remake, as some have taken to twitter to scream about yet another Hollywood remake. 

It’s somewhat surprising that “The Wizard of Oz” has not already been had a full-on Hollywood reboot. It has been retold for the theatre and, of course, the famous adaptation “The Wiz” with Diana Ross. What’s interesting is that the original 1939 film was already a remake of a few silent films. Those films were also based on the children’s book. So, a remake of this film is not without precedent. 

Regardless of whether or not this remake is necessary, it will certainly be a challenge. While Kassell has certainly proved herself with HBO (where she won an Emmy), this film will have to constantly justify its own existence. For many, there is no film that embodies the golden age of Hollywood than “The Wizard of Oz.” 

One of the film’s biggest challenges will be about Dorothy. Judy Garland looms so large in pop culture that she will be difficult to replace. The love for Garland is so large in Hollywood that they awarded Renée Zellweger an Oscar for portraying her in “Judy.”

The film has not yet announced a cast. 

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