New Line is looking to take audience back to the magical land of Oz and it sounds like there will be more screaming and running then singing and dancing.
Variety is reporting that the studio has bought an untitled pitch from Mike Van Waes that is “a horror film set in the iconic world of L. Frank Baum’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” The studio has not yet set a producer on the project.
While most people associate Frank L Baum’s original Oz books and the 1939 MGM film with a sense of whimsy, there are a fair number of horrific elements that lurk over the rainbow in the not so merry land of Oz. The Tin Woodsman’s origin involves a witch’s curse that caused him to successively hack his limbs off with an ax to be replaced by their metallic counterparts. Although ostensibly a children’s film, 1985’s Return To Oz played with other horrific Oz-ian elements such as Mombi’s interchangeable heads. More recently, the Tarsem Singh-directed television series Emerald City, which guns the Oz canon through a Game Of Throne-esque filter, has also featured some horrific elements and imagery.
Last year, Van Waes sold his Black List script Hammerspace, in which a terminally ill teen discovers an animated alternate dimension while searching for his father, to New Line’s parent company Warner Brothers. He also set up Peeves at Fox Animation.