Drew Barrymore To Direct ‘Wizard of Oz’ Sequel

Published 5 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 3:11 pm,

Actress Drew Barrymore – who made her directorial debut last year with the roller derby flick Whip It – is set to helm Surrender Dorothy, a sequel to the 1939 classic film The Wizard of Oz.

According to Pajiba, Surrender Dorothy tells the story of “the great, great granddaughter of Dorothy who has to learn how to use the power of those ruby slippers to keep the Wicked Witch of the West from taking control of the kingdoms of Earth and Oz.” The film will be based on a script written by Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction).

But what about the fact that said Witch was killed at the end of The Wizard of Oz?  We’ll have to wait and see how that one gets explained later.

Barrymore has been attached to the project since 2002 and was originally set to play the descendant of Dorothy Gale.  There’s no word yet whether she will still take on the role in addition to her directing/producing duties on the film, but I think it unlikely at this point.

Will Barrymore reunite with her Whip It star Ellen Page – admittedly the most obvious choice for the lead on Surrender Dorothy?  The two seem to have a good working and personal relationship so it’s definitely a possibility.

the wizard of oz header Drew Barrymore To Direct Wizard of Oz Sequel

Warner Bros. currently has a similar project in the works, a Wizard of Oz sequel that revolves around the granddaughter of Dorothy based off a screenplay written by Josh Olsen (A History of Violence).  That film was long rumored to be based off the ‘Twisted Land of Oz‘ toyline created by Todd McFarlane (Spawn), but now – based off the script synopsis – the film looks to be significantly less adult-oriented.

Both Barrymore’s Surrender Dorothy and Warner Bros.’ Oz project sound like semi-sequels that are to the original Wizard of Oz what Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland was to the classic Lewis Carroll story.  Disney’s 1986 flick Return to Oz was a direct Wizard of Oz sequel, but I wouldn’t expect either of these new projects to resemble that less popular film – one whose darker tone and freaky creature design was admittedly more loyal to L. Frank Baum’s original Oz novels.

Oz was a much scarier place in 'Return to Oz.'

Choosing between Warner Bros.’ Oz sequel and Barrymore’s Surrender Dorothy, I’m personally more excited for the latter.  Barrymore demonstrated in Whip It that she could imbue even a pretty formulaic story with enough energy and style that it didn’t feel nearly as tired as it should have.

Like this year’s Alice in Wonderland, Surrender Dorothy sounds like it will use the journey through a fantasy land undertaken by its female protagonist as a metaphor for her own coming of age into adulthood – a theme which Barrymore handled quite well in Whip It.

But what do you readers think?  Which Wizard of Oz sequel sounds more enticing?  Sound off in the comments section below.

There’s nothing official yet, but we’ll keep you posted on the development of Surrender Dorothy as more information rolls in.

Source: Pajiba (via Collider)

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  1. i dont mind re-imaginings of the old storyline like “Muppets of Oz” or “Tin Man”

    but an official remake or sequal. not only has it already been attemped and failed, no one wants to see it. Shame on You


  3. Shes a proven good director, but WHAT THE F#%*@???!!!

  4. Cant wait to se Drew Barrymore in a Dorothy-costume…

  5. I wonder if Surrender Dorothy will ignore the events of Return to Oz? It sure would be cool if they made The Wizard of Oz, Return to Oz and Surrender Dorothy into a sort of trilogy.

  6. My first thought was “HUH?!”

    My second thought was “WTF?!”

    My third thought “WHY?!WHY?!WHY?!”

  7. Un-Killing the Wicked Witch would be like when they un-killed Agent Smith, absolutely no good can come of it (and no enjoyable wickedness either)

  8. I kinda dug Return to Oz, normally I would be interested in a darker version but I would like to see Drew take on something a bit more ambitious. I agree with Goldspire, making it a loose sort of trilogy sounds appealing.

  9. Tim Burton directing with Johnny Depp as Dorothy!!

    Just kidding about the Depp thing but I think after seeing Alice In Wonderland in March I really think Burton could smack a home run with this concept…

  10. I say leave the movie alone. The classic ended perfectly. To make the witch undead takes away from the end of the original. The original left no room for sequels.

  11. Wow, this is a freaky coincidence. One of my good friends has entered a Wizard of OZ contest were she had to put a spin of the Dorothy character. She’s changed Dorothy and the whole OZ story into a modern day Bohemian fairytale.

    She’s going to trip out about Drew Barrymore being recently asked to direct something similar.

  12. Give her a break, I think it’s a good idea! There is a huge fan base, I liked the “return to OZ” sequel…. FuK off haters!!!

  13. “Oz Great and Powerful” was okay, but the best, funniest, Oz thing I’ve read lately is called DA YELLER BRICK ROAD, a revisionist, ribald, telling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by – get this – Uncle Remus. Hilarious.

  14. This sounds interesting! I’m a huge Oz fan, so whatever happens will be very cool to see.

  15. Ok, it’s mid 2014. As nice as this sounds, it’s awfully hard to make a better sequel than the original. Plus they’ve had MORE than enough time to do this film threefold. It’s dead folks. And forever should we let it stay that way…