Rumour has it that director Robert Zemeckis (Back To The Future) is making another move back towards live-action with a remake of The Wizard of Oz. According to Deadline, Warner Bros. would prefer the script to stick as close as possible to the original 1939 version. Warner Bros owns the screenplay since Ted Turner bought it along with the MGM library before selling his empire to Warner. So technically the studio doesn’t need to make any changes to the screenplay, but than why remake one the greatest films of all time, especially if your not going to make any changes to it? Well the answer to that question is money and one could argue that it is their way to counter the Disney/Sam Raimi Oz film titled The Great and Powerful Oz. That film, which Sam Raimi will direct, is currently in pre-production with Robert Downey Jr set to star as the wizard, who in this version is “a charlatan who’s part of a traveling circus but goes on a similar odyssey as Dorothy when he mysteriously lands in Oz.”
Again this is just a rumour and considering Zemeckis is already in the midst of directing a Yellow Submarine animated redux for Disney (scheduled for a 2012 release) and has already signed on to direct Timeless (his first live-action film in years), he may not even have the time to jump onboard.
Also worth noting is that these are not the only Wizard of Oz related films currently in the works. Earlier this year, Drew Barrymore signed on to direct and star in Surrender Dorothy, where she will play “the great, great granddaughter of Dorothy who has to learn how to use the power of those ruby red slippers to keep the Wicked Witch of the West from taking control of the kingdoms of Earth and Oz.”