Disney's Oz sequel to compete with Warner Bros proposed adult fantasy series Red Brick Road
With the success of OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL and the announcement of the impending sequel, many have been left wondering if we can expect to see a reimagining of THE WIZARD OF OZ come next. Not so fast, folks. Producer Joe Roth recently indicated that the sequel to OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL has 20 years of time before the events of THE WIZARD OF OZ to play with, thus avoiding running into items controlled by Warner Bros, like the ruby slippers and any of the iconic songs from the 1939 film.
But, things are about to get complicated folks. Disney's studio is currentl run by Alan Horn, former head of Warner Bros, who passed on several Oz projects only to shepherd OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL to the big screen. Now, with the audience primed for the return of the franchise, WB has a big slate of possible adaptations.
There was a sequel titled "Oz: The Return to Emerald City," about Dorothy's granddaughter returning to Oz to fight new evil and written by "A History of Violence" scribe Josh Olson; "Surrender Dorothy," a modern-day spin on the tale that was set up with Drew Barrymore's production company; and "The Wizard of Oz," Del Toro's nonmusical version penned by "Shrek Forever After" writer Darren Lemke and set to be produced by the company behind the "Twilight" films.
The project that has the most momentum thus far is an adult-skewing television series called RED BRICK ROAD with the plotline “Dorothy went down the yellow brick road. So where did the red brick road go?”. The series is aiming for the GAME OF THRONES audience, which may work with the success of other adult oriented fairy tale films like SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN and the upcoming MALEFICENT. But, as we saw last year with competing Snow White projects, there is not always room for two franchises using the same story.
Personally, I am still partial to RETURN TO OZ, Disney's previous attempt to adapt the Oz series. That movie had more heart than anything in OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL. If I was in charge, I would want to replicate that project more than anything. Time will tell if WB ends up actually getting another Oz movie made or if they will succumb to Disney's marketing machine.