Posted on Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
I have good news and bad news. The good news first: Robert Zemeckis is making another move back towards live-action. The bad news: it might be with a remake of The Wizard of Oz, which Warner Bros. is attempting to assemble. And while this might not be a shot for shot remake a la Gus Van Sant and Psycho, the idea is awfully close, as the studio wants to use the script from the 1939 version.
Think this sounds like a direct attempt to counter Disney’s Oz film, The Great and Powerful Oz? (Which provisionally has Sam Raimi directing and Robert Downey Jr. as star.) Well, it probably is. Warners owns the Wizard of Oz screenplay, and this would be a way to quickly put a film into production without mucking about in all that tedious business of hiring a new writer. The ’39 version had over a dozen writers on it anyway; isn’t that enough?
So, provisionally file this under ‘boneheaded executive scheme,’ which comes as no surprise. But why is Robert Zemeckis playing along?
He’s already remaking Yellow Submarine for Disney. But Warner Bros. also picked up a pitch for a film called Timeless, to which the director is attached. In fact, after Disney announced the closing of ImageMovers Digital, the mocap studio through which Mr. Zemeckis has made films like The Polar Express,he started to talk to Warners about projects. So is this a ‘one for us, one for you’ sort of deal? If he makes this then Warners will give him some room to play? Pure speculation there, but that’s where we’d put some of our money. Regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that this Wizard of Oz deal is a terrible idea. [Deadline]