OzA couple weeks ago we told you that Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Pictures bought the rights to make a movie based on Todd McFarlane’s revisionist take on L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz will be titled “OZ”. Well, IGN spoke with McFarlane about the new movie project and it was revealed that Michael Bay was originally somehow attached to the project.

“I came up with this huge, massive Lord of the Rings epic. It actually got fairly tight and succinct.””We actually went in there and for a while had Michael Bay going around with me pitching it,” revealed McFarlane. “We had props, visuals, toys, storyboards, posters… I made little models of the city. I think it overwhelmed them. They said that they needed 20 minutes for a pitch and I was like, ‘I need at least an hour and fifteen. I’m going to act out this whole movie and show you the whole thing because this movie is going to cost at least $140 million to make. I don’t want you to not know what you’re buying.'”

It took a long while until one of the movie studios actually bit. And McFarlane also says that the movie will probably be a lot lighter than the original concept seen in the action figure line.

“If you’re asking someone for $140 million, they’re completely the client. So you get to this moment in life where… they’re not making the movie exactly that I would have made, but they’re making something. And you have to go is that something better than, even if you had the power to insist it your way, not making it,” he explained. “There are those moments where you just have to compromise a bit and go this is a collaborative effort and here’s what the studio wants. It is dark and moody, but it’s always been a PG-13 movie. You might not see that in the toys because the toys weren’t built with that PG-13 in mind. The bondage Dorothy, in my pitch, is literally an eight second scene. Just one scene of her in that.”

“There’s a lot of money on the table and they have to get what they want, but that said, we’ve seen a marked movement in films with The Grudge, The Ring and The Lord of the Rings. Those are PG-13 movies, but to me they’re right up against that R edge in terms of tonality. So you can still do dark and do PG-13. In three years, if we ever make it, whoever’s in charge at that point will have much more control than I will. I’ll be there as a producer and have my input, but I’ll just cross my fingers.”

A History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olsen is working on the script. I’m very excited about this project, I hope that the studio doesn’t soften the tone that much. I think an R-Rated version of OZ would be more appealing just in the fact that it would be completely different from the original tale. The closer you get to PG, the closer the story will probably resemble the original stories. I wish we lived in a world where it was more important to create something creative and original, and not just something that will sell to the mass audiences.  I would have loved to see a R-Rated Michael Bay version of the Wizard of Oz. But I’m probably in the minority.

Todd McFarlane’s Oz to the Big Screen


OzTodd McFarlane makes some of the coolest action figures and statues on the market today. I always thought that his dark and twisted Wizard of Oz line could make an interesting movie, but who would allow it to happen? By that, I mean, the figures were very twisted, and very out there. It’s not something that mainstream America will latch on to. I always assumed that the toy line was collected by Goth-looking individuals who might have some open shelf space for Dorthy in bondage.

Well apparently Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Pictures have acquired the idea from Todd McFarlane. The revisionist take on L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz will be titled “OZ”. A History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olsen is set to write the script, which he claims will be more of a sequel than a remake. The toys are PG-13, if not R-Rated, and the film project will be toned down.

“I saw those toys, and Dorothy as some bondage queen isn’t something I want to do,” Olson told Variety. “The appealing thing about the Baum books to me is how wildly imaginative they are. There are crazy characters from amazing places. I want this to be ‘Harry Potter’ dark, not ‘Seven’ dark.”

McFarlane hopes to create a new interpretation that has “a 2007 wow factor” which can capture the audience that went to see Lord of the Rings. McFarlane said: “You’ve still got Dorothy trapped in an odd place, but she’s much closer to the Ripley from ‘Alien’ than a helpless singing girl.”

Check out some photos from McFarlane’s Oz toyline below.



The Dark Knight’s Direct-to-DVD Anime

Batman Anime

Batmanonfilm has gotten their hands on a leaked info sheet for an yet-to-be-announced Batman anime project. The project would function much in the way that the Animatrix did for The Matrix films (which coincidentally was also released by Warner Bros).

The memo says that the project would consist of sic short stories which help bridge the gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The PG-13 rated anthology will be geared to core fans and tween boys. The names supposedly attached to write the stories include: “Academy Award nominee Josh Olsen (The History of Violence), screenwriter of the Blade films and Batman Begins David Goyer, and famed comic book writer Brian Azzarello, amongst others.”

I’ve always found this type of intertwining extended movie world to be an interesting idea. I’m actually one of the few who liked the original Matrix video game, which connected the dots between the first and third films, and the Animatrix, using exclusive story footage shot with the film’s main actors as a reward to keep people playing. The quality of the connectivity between The Matrix properties can certainly be debated, but the idea was a good one. You can read the full Batman Anime memo at BOF.