The Wizard Of Oz is one of the best-known, most-watched, beloved films in the history of cinema. However, there are surprisingly few who know about or have read the books where Dorothy, Toto, and those Wicked (and not-so-Wicked) Witches originated.
That might well change thanks to an upcoming biopic about the author of Oz, L. Frank Baum - a biopic which just netted itself a star who is coming off a hot streak (which includes an Academy Award for Best Actor), and who's willing to head down that Yellow Brick Road.
As reported by The Tracking Board, Theory Of Everything star Eddie Redmayne will play L. Frank Baum in the upcoming Road To Oz, a drama about the early days of the author who would go on to write The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz and its many sequels (which were children's literature classics before being adapted into one of the most iconic early Hollywood films in history).
Redmayne will star as Baum, from a script written by newcomer Josh Golden, as developed by Finding Neverland producer Nellie Bellflower and Michael Mislove. As noted by THR the film, which has no connection to the Oz book of the same name, will explore the years that lead up to Baum becoming a prolific author of some thirteen books in his fictional universe, much as Bellflower's Finding Neverland did with Johnny Depp as Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie. It will be the first Oz-related film since Sam Raimi's prequel Oz The Great And The Powerful, starring James Franco as the not-so-powerful wizard in the years before Dorothy.
Having won an Oscar for Best Actor after playing Stephen Hawking in 2014’s The Theory Of Everything, Eddie Redmayne has already booked another high-profile, magic-related role in the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, a spinoff of the Harry Potter book-turned movie series (which is being written by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling herself). Hopefully he can save up a bit of that magic and mimicry for Road To Oz as well.
New Line Cinema and Flynn Picture Company are producing The Road To Oz with Michael Disco, Sam Brown, Beau Flynn and Scott Sheldon overseeing the project. There is no director attached as of writing, but Redmayne's involvement is likely to have a lot of filmmakers clicking their heels together and saying “there's no place like LA...there's no place like LA...”
We'll bring you more information on Road to Oz when we have it.