Legendary Entertainment is developing a Land of Oz TV series. The original Land of Oz, as imagined by children’s author L Frank Baum, first appeared in Baum’s 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which was adapted in 1939 into one of the most iconic Hollywood films ever. Winning two Oscars at the 1940 Academy Awards, The Wizard of Oz helped make a major star out of actress Judy Garland.
At the time of its release, The Wizard of Oz was MGM’s most expensive release ever and despite the film’s popularity as well as its critical acclaim, an official sequel failed to materialize until some 33 years later, when Garland’s daughter, Liza Minnelli, voiced lead character Dorothy in the animated Journey Back to Oz. Ever since then, numerous spin offs and sequels have arrived in both animated and live-action form, though none have managed to re-create the impact that the original film has had. Most recently, Sam Raimi directed the star laden Oz the Great and Powerful and although a sequel was promised to the 2013 title, to date there are no signs of it and Raimi has said that he will not direct.
So, while Oz fans eagerly await a theatrical return to Oz, Variety reports that Legendary Entertainment is getting set to develop an as of yet untitled TV series that will be set in L Frank Baum’s Land of Oz universe. The new series will reportedly be written and produced by Ed Ricourt, whose past work includes Now You See Me and Jessica Jones and will focus on characters in Baum’s novels that haven’t gotten much recognition over the years. As of this writing, the series is without a director and no casting or release date information is available.
Though plot details are slim at the moment, what we do know is that when the return of a long-exiled witch brings division and strife to Oz, the land’s sole hope is a servant girl who just might end up becoming the most powerful and dangerous woman in all of Oz. It sounds as though there’s going to be plenty of concepts to work with on the series, given that Baum wrote a whopping total of fourteen novels based on the wondrous Land of Oz. As previously noted, the Oz IP has undergone numerous adaptations over the years, with specific attention given to creating a range of animated and live-action TV series. This latest TV incarnation of Baum’s characters and universe appears to be the first, however, that specifically focuses on the lesser known elements of the novels.
Whether or not this new Land of Oz TV series is a success, it’s amazing to think that 100 years after his death, L Frank Baum’s magical stories continue to inspire creative minds and enchant audiences. And although it’s unlikely that any of the spin-offs, reboots or remakes that are inevitably to come will ever surpass the quality and charm of the original 1939 film, the Land of Oz has certainly become a universe that people want to explore and redefine.