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Stop-motion OZ WARS in the works

GATW Guest Writer

by: GATW Guest Writer
December 15th, 2010

If L. Frank Baum, writer of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, were still alive, his bank account would suggest that business is booming. Variety is reporting that Mike Johnson, Tim Burton's co-director on THE CORPSE BRIDE, has been tapped to direct Vanguard Films' CG/stop-motion feature, OZ WARS.

The film is another revisionist tale of the WIZARD OF OZ story, not unlike the hit play, Wicked. This story's synopsis states that Dorthy gets caught up in "a whirlwind of warrior witches, black magic, martial arts, and monsters against a contemporary backdrop." The screenplay was penned by Rob Moreland and Athena Gram.

Johnson claims the cost to make the film will be low due to the inexpensive stop-motion software. According to his filmography, he should know what he's talking about. Along with his co-director status on CORPSE BRIDE, he is listed as an animator for THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. He also insists that OZ WARS will be designed for the entertainment of both kids and adults.

How many Oz films can the world hold? Perhaps it was Wicked that led to the resurgence, but Baum's original story is vogue at the moment. There have been both confirmations and rumors about the production of the films WICKED, SURRENDER DOROTHY, DOROTHY OF OZ, and OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL. Also, there have been talks of an all-out WIZARD OF OZ remake with Robert Zemeckis attached to the project. I love Oz as much as the next guy, but is there not such a thing as oversaturation?

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