Stop-Motion Wizard of Oz Flick In The Works

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 9th, 2013 at 1:46 pm,

Corpse Bride director to make stop motion Oz Wars Stop Motion Wizard of Oz Flick In The Works

The Wizard of Oz is a beloved bit of creative fantasy – no one denies that, but Hollywood’s plan to release multiple Oz-inspired projects over the next few years is testing the patience of even the most fiercely loyal fans out there.

Now there’s yet another Oz project in the works, titled Oz Wars, and it means to refashion Dorothy’s experiences in Oz as a CG/stop-motion animated adventure flick full of black magic, warrior witches, and martial arts action (you read that correctly).

Vanguard Films is the economic force behind Oz Wars and Variety is reporting that the company has tapped stop-motion animation veteran Mike Johnson (who co-directed Corpse Bride with Tim Burton) to direct the pic. The plan is to use state-of-the-art stop-motion software to complete the project at a cheap cost and that task will be all the more feasible with an experienced artist like Johnson at the helm. Production is expected to get underway soon, with the Oz Wars script being already complete.

It’s with the tone and content of Oz Wars that things start to get really… interesting. Johnson says that Oz will be a “dark, slick, sexy and dangerous” world in which Dorothy (who now hails from a contemporary Kansas, it seems) must do battle with deadly forces of magic and enchantresses in order to save the fantastical realm from destruction.

Johnson’s description of Oz Wars as “sexy” recalls the rumored plot details for Oz the Great and Powerful, which were very much on the risque side themselves. It certainly sounds like Johnson has something far different in mind with his project than the other upcoming animated Oz film, Dorothy of Oz (see below), which looks to be more on the light and bright side, both visually and thematically.

Dorothy of Oz Concept Art 5 Stop Motion Wizard of Oz Flick In The Works

Conceptual drawing of the Emerald City from 'Dorothy of Oz'.

L. Frank Baum’s original Oz novels are overall far more twisted and darker than the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie. The generally creepy look and design of Johnson’s previous work – which also includes Henry Selick’s James and the Giant Peach adaptation- should serve the more macabre bend of Oz Wars well and could mean that this is one Oz story that will feel similar to Baum’s original creation.

While we appreciate that Oz Wars has potential and that rumors about a motion-capture Wizard of Oz remake turned out to be essentially rubbish, the onslaught of Oz movies being developed is kind of befuddling. Do film studios really believe there is that much audience demand to either see Dorothy’s adventures somewhere over the rainbow re-imagined or (dare we say it )… rebooted?

We’ll keep you posted on the development of Oz Wars as more information comes our way.

Source: Variety

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  1. Light Sabres… I want to see light sabres… used on Toto.

    • LMAO!

    • rofl rofl

  2. Why does Hollywood has this classic-movie-destructor thing?

  3. No No No No No NO! As much as I like the Wizard of Oz, and the Tin Man miniseries I’m getting tired of this. No remake, sequel, prequel, epilogue, etc. needs to be done. Stop it, use yalls mind Hollywood to make up new stuff. This is ridiculous.

  4. Yeah, I’m with Seth. This madness must cease. There are certain things you just leave be…

  5. The artist’s conception of the Emerald City reminds me too much of the city depicted on the original poster/VHS cassette coverbox for The Little Mermaid; betcha ANYTHING some moms will see “male reproductive anatomy” where those with SENSE see an Emerald City, not The Hulk’s private parts.

    • Yeah.. I see it too.

  6. “L. Frank Baum’s original Oz novels were overall far more twisted and darker”

    I call B.S. on this statement. I just re-read several of these books and they couldn’t be tamer. Sounds like somebody is quoting a Hollywood douche without knowing of what they speak.

    • @ Eddie

      See Disney’s “Return to Oz” for a better idea of what the Oz novels are like.

      Obviously they don’t contain R-Rated material, but they are significantly darker/weirder than the 1939 film overall.

    • Eddie…

      Actually, despite your calling anything, that statement IS true. No, the books were not soft porn or anything as horrid as, say, most horror films of the last ten years, BUT they were the Roald Dahls/Tim Burtons/Edward Goreys of their day.

      The stories had very very sweet elements (as Baum DID wish children to read them), but they went into some VERY dark areas of the imagination. They are similar, in that regard, to the “Alice” stories of Carroll and the ORIGINAL (read: pre-Disney) Grimm’s Fairy Tales…but not QUITE as grim.

      Aye, ’tis true.

      • Yeah, man. You gotta remember the first book came out in 1900. There’s some pretty dark stuff in there for the time the series was written. Tin Man was a human (well, munchkin, really) who chopped his own body into pieces when his axe was cursed by the Wicked Witch. And then, of course, there’s this little gem from the first book:

        “The King Crow flew at the Scarecrow, who caught it by the head and twisted its neck until it died. And then another crow flew at him, and the Scarecrow twisted its neck also. There were forty crows, and forty times the Scarecrow twisted a neck, until at last all were lying dead beside him.”

        Not quite the lovable goof we all remember, eh?

  7. Another Oz film in the works… the most high profile one being Sam Raimi’s I suppose. Doesn’t matter. All incredibly uninteresting and boring. Here’s an idea. Create your own damn world to explore.

  8. how many OZ sequel/prequel/remake/re-imaginings are there gonna be in the next few years???

    the only one they should consider is “Wicked”

    every other OZ related idea has not been successful (TinMan and The Wiz are debatable)

    • I thought Tin Man was excellent. I enjoyed that mini-series very much.

      • Same here, Tin Man was really good. If only I knew where my DVD of it went…

        • A little dog named Toto took it…

  9. Hi, I don’t agree with what you guys are saying. If they can do all these movies based on comics and old tv shows, they should be able to do oz in movies, and not just stick to the mgm film. there are about two or three thousand books written about oz and most of all, if you can do lord of the rings, and the Narnia series, than we can do a full fledged movie based soley and on the look and feel of the books and the dark and bloodyness of the books that baum broke. There is more to oz then mgm stop being book and purist haters.

  10. I have got to agree. What does this make now, 5 different OZ related projects in the works?! ENOUGH ALREADY!

    For hell sakes do something NEW dammit and stop sucking the life out of every old movie, TV series or piece of media imaginable!

    Some wonder why Avatar was so successful. Just maybe it was because Cameron was trying to do just that…..something NEW and people ate it up. MAybe not completely original but much more so than remaking the Wizard of Oz.

    This remake, alt-itis / sequel-itis disease Hollywood has caught is going to be the death of the indistry.

  11. Ya know the great part about this?? WE DON’T HAVE TO SEE IT IF WE DON’T WANT TO!

  12. Also Nightmare Before Christmas was way better then Corpse Bride! Don’t know if that says anything but….

  13. That castle…. Didn’t the box cover of the VHS version of the Little Mermaid get in trouble for the same tower design?

    • See my post, about 15-16 posts above yours…

  14. yeap, it looks like the city of