Oh boy! Move over Heroes for Hire! Down in the back, Supergirl! There’s a new lass is town, and she’s going to make all of you look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Variety is reporting that Todd McFarlane and screenwriter Josh Olson are teaming for a “revisionist” take on THE WIZARD OF OZ. Olson, who wrote the script for A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, fleshed out an idea by McFarlane, who will produce. How revisionist?
McFarlane has a vision of Oz that is a dark, edgy and muscular PG-13, without a singing Munchkin in sight. That was clear with a toy line he launched several years ago that featured a buxom Dorothy and Toto reimagined as an oversized snarling warthog.
Bearing in mind that these toys look something like the picture on the right, one wonders if the world is ready for a pornstar-proportioned Dorothy with cigarette burns on her hip. Luckily, Olson is wondering the same thing.
Olson has something a little tamer, and PG, in mind. “I saw those toys, and Dorothy as some bondage queen isn’t something I want to do,” Olson told Daily Variety. “The appealing thing about the Baum books to me is how wildly imaginative they are. There are crazy characters from amazing places. I want this to be ‘Harry Potter’ dark, not ‘Seven’ dark.”
Todd has his own ideas.
“I want to create (an interpretation) that has a 2007 wow factor. You’ve still got Dorothy trapped in an odd place, but she’s much closer to the Ripley from ‘Alien’ than a helpless singing girl.”
Now being a bit of an OZ fan ourselves — we’re not Eric Shanower level scholars, but we read all 14 L. Frank Baum books many times — we can say with certainty that there is indeed a pretty dark thread in the books if you want to go there. In the original origin of the Tin Woodman, for instance, he kept shopping off bits of his body until he was all tin replacement parts. There are plenty of cannibals, evil slave drivers and other disturbing elements in the original books. In other words…FAIRUZA BALK!
However we in no way condone bondage queen Dorothy. That very much goes against Baum’s vision of a world of innocent yet spunky and heroic young American girls.