A new adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, is in the works from New Line Cinema.
Deadline broke the news that Nicole Kassell – director and executive producer of HBO’s Emmy-winning series Watchmen – will helm the new version, which will not be a remake of the 1939 film or a musical, but rather a “fresh take” on the story. And while Watchmen and Wizard are poles apart, Kassell has a flair for visually stunning imagery that will serve the material well.
“I am incredibly honoured to join Temple Hill and New Line in bringing this beloved classic to the screen,” Kassell said in a statement. “While the 1939 musical is part of my DNA, I am exhilarated and humbled by the responsibility of re-imagining such a legendary tale. The opportunity to examine the original themes — the quest for courage, love, wisdom and home — feels more timely and urgent than ever. These are profoundly iconic shoes to fill, and I am eager to dance alongside these heroes of my childhood as we pave a newly minted yellow brick road.”
Since its publication in 1900, Baum’s novel has been adapted numerous times for the screen and stage; the most recent movie version being Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful in 2013.