Warner Brothers is currently in talks with director Robert Zemeckis to remake the classic 1939 The Wizard Of Oz. The kicker is that they don’t even want to use a new script for the project but reuse the original one written back in the 1930s! Warner Brothers ownership of the original screenplay dates back to Warner’s purchase of Ted Turner’s media empire, which held the rights following Turner’s purchase of the MGM film library. So Warners gets to save themselves some cash in not having to pay some screenwriters to write a movie for them.
What’s interesting is that Deadline, who broke the story, is positioning this project as a rival to Disney’s Oz: The Great And Powerful, which still hasn’t been given a greenlight despite the participation of Sam Raimi as director and Robert Downey Jr in the title role. Now the thing is, Raimi is also working on developing a film based on the online video game World Of Warcraft for Warner Brothers. Presumably they are very keen for Raimi to work on their project rather than the Oz film for Disney. Is it possible that Warner’s is hoping that Disney will scuttle their own OZ film in the face of Warner’s?
I doubt that is the case though as Raimi isn’t the only one working on films for both Warners and Disney. Zemeckis currently working on his notion capture animation film for the studio, the remake of Yellow Submarine. I doubt that Zemeckis would do anything to jeopardize that project.
No matter what Warners reasoning for doing this project though, it is still an incredibly stupid idea.