The opportunity to see an all-time classic on the big screen should be taken whenever possible. Ideally, this happens at a repertory house where the original content and quality of the film is preserved, and sometimes (though less and less as 35mm gives way to DCP) even the format is the same. On special occasions, though, a film is so grand and adored it gets not only a big time restoration, but major release as well. Titanic comes to mind. Jurassic Park. And now, The Wizard of Oz can be added to the list.
The 1939 classic celebrates its 75 anniversary in 2014 and leading up to that, Warner Bros. is releasing both a 3D Blu-ray super set on October 1 and a restored, 3D IMAX edition in theaters September 1. Read More »
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The land of Oz is a big, varied place, with all manner of strange denizens around whom to build a story. But there are only a dozen or so characters that are recognizable to broad audiences who have never read L. Frank Baum’s novels: Oz, the witches, Dorothy, her companions in The Wizard of Oz, maybe Princess Ozma and a few others.
So it’s easy to guess that a sequel to Sam Raimi‘s film Oz the Great and Powerful would jump forward to involve Dorothy in some way, perhaps even effectively rebooting The Wizard of Oz and circling around any effort Warner Bros. (rights holder to the 1939 film) might put into motion.
But producer Joe Roth says the Great and Powerful sequel “would absolutely not” involve Dorothy. Read More »
When people think of The Wizard of Oz, they think of the 1939 film starring Judy Garland. Yellow brick roads, munchkins, ruby slippers, the wicked witch, all that stuff. Fast forward about 75 years and Disney releases Oz the Great and Powerful, a prequel that features iconography very similar to, but not exactly the same, as the famous film. The reason? Warner Bros. owns the rights to the 1939 classic, but not the L. Frank Baum book it’s based on, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Sam Raimi and his team were very careful not to use any of Warner Bros.’ intellectual property, going so far as having lawyers present during production to make sure they didn’t cross the line. So there are no ruby slippers, the witch isn’t the same color green, the Emerald City looks different, etc. It’s close, but just different enough to avoid a lawsuit.
On its opening weekend, Disney and Raimi’s gamble paid off, grossing an impressive $80 million and work on a sequel has begun. The cash is rolling in for the Mouse House much to the chagrin of Warner Bros., who rightfully feels a certain ownership to the property.
The Los Angeles Times has a fascinating article on how the success of Oz will not only help Disney, but set up a major rivalry between them and Warners who has several Oz related projects in the pipeline including multiple movies at various stages of development. Read More »
If this summer’s blockbuster film The Avengers taught us anything, is that there’s power in numbers. Thor or Iron Man are good on their own but, when they’re part of a team, they’re great. That team-up mentality is the focus of the latest art show at the Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. It’s called The Gang’s All Here and features art based on films, TV and more where a group of people team up for a cause. Which is actually quite a common story device, once you start thinking about it.
The show opens this Friday, November 16 and features some of the best gallery art we’ve seen in a while. For real. Just one example is a piece we’re happy to debut, Laurent Durieux‘s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a stunning tribute to L. Frank Baum‘s work. But then there’s also stuff centering on Attack the Block, The Lost Boys, Hook, Watchmen, Game of Thrones, Alien, Seven Samurai, Monty Python, Super Troopers, Harry Potter, Star Wars and so much more, all of which focus on a group of people teaming up.
After the jump, check out a huge preview gallery of images and the exclusive reveal of Dureaux’s piece. Read More »
2013 is the 90th anniversary of Warner Bros., and besides a strong slate of theatrical films, the company has some very surprising – and not so surprising – plans for the home market. The biggest news is they’re planning 3D conversion of the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz for Blu-ray, coupled with a likely, limited theatrical run. There will also be an Extended Edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and a Ultimate Collector’s Edition of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, both of which will upgrades from Blu-ray releases with less features. Read more about all of this after the jump. Read More »
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Good news abounds for fans for fans of HBO’s two newest shows and one of the most famous movies of all time. First up, HBO has just renewed both Veep and Girls for a second season. Then, over on E!, they’re developing a whole new slate of original programming including a show called Dorothy which is inspired by the world of The Wizard of Oz. Read more about both pieces of news after the break. Read More »
Tell me if this makes sense to you. On March 8, 2013 Disney will release Sam Raimi‘s Oz: The Great and Powerful, which is a prequel to the classic The Wizard of Oz. What better way to drive sales of the DVD release of the original film, right?
But Warner Bros. is playing its own game. The studio is making early plans for the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, which is in 2014. Part of that plan is putting home video releases of the film on moratorium starting on May 1 this year. So when Oz: The Great and Powerful arrives, there will be no The Wizard of Oz discs on shelves for people to buy. Read More »
One would imagine Sam Raimi is planning on being incredibly respectful to the original Wizard of Oz with his 2013 3D prequel, Oz The Great and Powerful. There’s just no way the filmmaker would even think to tackle such a mythos unless he could pay homage to the classic film in new and interesting ways. One of those ways has just been revealed thanks to one of the film’s young stars. Joey King, who also stars in The Dark Knight Rises, revealed in an interview that the film begins, and presumably ends, in black and white just like the original. Read her quote and more after the jump. Read More »
The small news for Sam Raimi‘s new Wizard of Oz film Oz: The Great and Powerful is that Abigail Spencer has been cast as “a young woman who is a willing subject of Oz’s magic tricks which the erstwhile magician is performing in Kansas.” The magician being the character played by James Franco, whose balloon eventually is blown off course, landing him in Oz, where he becomes the Wizard we know from the classic film.
But there is a bigger Oz story in play today, as today a ruling in the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals gave Warner Bros. quite a few powers over the characters depicted in The Wizard of Oz. This court decision could have serious ramifications going forward for any studio that seeks to make a film that will capitalize in some measure on an existing film owned by another company. Read More »