Monday, October 14, 2013

"Red Brick Road" in Development (& Summary of all the Other Oz Projects Spinning Around Hollywood Right Now)

Dorothy as imagined by Rob Prior (official development image)
Did The Wizard of Oz books just become public domain or is 2013 just the year of the (TV) Wizard? Answer: all the better known books have been public domain for a while* so it appears the flying monkeys are just making the network rounds... (and possibly prepping for the big 75th anniversary of MGM's movie).

Here's the latest, this time from Lifetime, making it the FIFTH Oz-themed project announced as being in development in the last three months (!):

 Lifetime has put in development Red Brick Road,from the Wolper Organization, Vertigo Entertainment and Warner Horizon. Written by Tim Schlattman (Dexter) based on an concept by artist Rob Prior and executive produced by Roy Lee and Adrian Askarieh, Red Brick Road is described as an edgy, Game Of Thrones take on the world of Wizard Of Ozan edgy, Game Of Thrones take on the world of Wizard Of Oz. In the classic 1939 feature, when Dorothy set off for the Emerald City, she followed the Yellow Brick Road. But among the yellow bricks at Dorothy’s feet, there was also a swirl of red bricks. They’ve been there the whole time in plain sight. Unnoticed. Unexplored. Which raises the question — just where do they go? Red Brick Road will answer that by following Dorothy down that fateful path, taking her to the oldest, darkest and most dangerous parts of Oz to find what became of her friends who all have gone missing. (Deadline)
I kind of like the sound of this one, though if you like the Oz books (and the movie) I'd suggest thinking of this as an entirely different story.

To summarize the projects for you:
NBC -      Emerald City (drama - dark re-imagining of the classic tale)
CBS -       Dorothy (medical soap)
Syfy -       Warriors of Oz (fantasy/action post apocalyptic mini-series re-imagining of the classic tale)
CW -        Dorothy Must Die (revisionist take, based on YA novel by Danielle Page)
Lifetime - Red Brick Road (edgy Game of Thrones take on The Wizard of Oz)

Oh and there's also Wicked: The Mini-Series being developed by ABC (based on Maguire's novel rather than the musical) but we haven't heard about that for a while now (a long while) so that's likely on the shelf. Maybe they'll dust it off once someone notices just how many Oz properties are being picked up. I think a mini-series might be the better way to explore the novel.

Wicked the Broadway musical as a movie makes sense too, and that's what I'm kind of waiting for more solid news on, next. Last we heard (at ComicCon July 2013) the Producer attached confirmed that, yes, there WILL BE a move of Wicked, that Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry was "in talks" re Wicked and that a very vague date of sometime during 2014 was at one point announced (although whether that's for filming or release is a little unclear) but is likely to be changed with no cast or start date yet in place.

Have I forgotten anything? (Feel free to add anything else I missed in the comments below.)

* If you want to read up on the complicated copyright releases of the Oz books into public domain you can read a good summary HERE.

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