Over two years ago it was reported that Warner Bros. was trying to bring a "dark and twisted" version of The Wizard of Oz to the big screen, loosely based on Spawn creator Todd McFarlane's Twisted Land of Oz toy line. Since that time there's been little to no word on the development of the project - until now.
UK trade paper The Daily Express is reporting that the Twisted Land of Oz movie could go into production next year, and that actress Dakota Fanning is being heavily eyed to star as the Dorothy character - specifically Dorothy's granddaughter - in the present day re-imagining/sequel to the classic tale.
At last word (two years ago) A History of Violence scribe Josh Olson was working on a screenplay for WB. Olson claimed back then that while he wanted the Twisted Land of Oz film to be darker than the original, he didn't want it to be as borderline Rated-R as McFarlane's toy line.
For example, take a look at the Twisted Land of Oz versions of Dorothy and her friends The Cowardly Lion and The Tin Man (see the Scarecrow up above):
The filmmakers will DEFINITELY have to tone down McFarlane's concepts if they ever hope to have this film make it to (non-XXX) theaters. I mean, I know Dorothy started out sporting ruby-red heels and all, but McFarlane's S&M version of the girl is a little too much even for me... Yeesh.
As for what McFarlane himself envisions for the Twisted Land of Oz movie:
“You’ve still got Dorothy trapped in an odd place, but she’s much closer to the Ripley character from Alien [Sigourney Weaver] than a helpless singing girl.”
My question is would the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion still be trying to protect Dorothy from the Wicked Witch of the West? Or will they be trying to torture/kill/devour her Hostel-style?
Hell, who knows: even McFarlane's version of Toto looks like something out of a LSD-induced nightmare. Who can tell how these characters will end up portrayed in a finished film?
The guys over at Slash Film have raised some doubts about The Daily Express story - specifically whether or not Fanning is in fact being tapped to star. Until we have confirmation from the actress herself or reps at Warner Bros., keep this news filed under "RUMOR."
How do you feel about a big-screen version of The Twisted Land of Oz (that's my own tentative title for this project, BTW)? Do you feel that it could end up being promising (like, say, Tim Burton's upcoming Alice In Wonderland re-imagining/sequel)? Or are some things too sacred to be "dark and twisted?"
"Twisted Land of Oz" action figures can be purchased at McFarlane Toys