The Wizard Of Oz Is Getting An Official Remake

Should they do this?

By Britta DeVore | Published

wizard of oz

Get ready to meet up with your best friends and follow the yellow brick road all over again. Today, Deadline revealed that Warner Bros. is bringing us back to the land of Oz in a new telling of The Wizard of Oz. Sharing the magic with a whole new generation, the studio has tapped Kenya Barris (BlackAF, black-ish) to pen and direct the upcoming production.

While we all know the story of how Dorothy was carried away by a tornado to the magical land of Oz, it’s unclear as to how much of the original story Barris will stick with for his adaptation. We know for a fact that the creative will serve as a director and producer under his Khalabo Ink Society banner, but as for the story, it’s anyone’s guess. With the original on-screen take of The Wizard of Oz taking place in a then modern day 1939, it sounds like Barris’ will pick it up and drop it in today’s world. Could this throw a pandemic twist on the colorful and dizzying journey Dorothy takes alongside her upbeat companions? We sure hope so!  

With tunes by Harold Arlen and an all-star cast that included Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin, Pat Walshe, Clara Blandick, and Terry the pup as Toto, the Victor Fleming helmed technicolor production raked in a whopping six Oscar nominations when in came out in 1939. Quickly becoming a household name, the mythos and story surrounding The Wizard of Oz has been entertaining offshoots and bringing about new adaptations for almost 100-years. 

The original production was itself an adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s children’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which was first put into publication in 1900. In recent years, The Wizard of Oz has seen spinoffs like musical-turned film The Wiz and book-turned musical-turned film, Wicked. Both of these projects saw new imaginations of the original story given a spin, with Wicked even giving a prequel tale to the life of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good. 

This new imagining of The Wizard of Oz is in great hands with Barris, who now has a CVS length receipt of new projects on the horizon. Also coming down the remake chute, Barris will be backing a reimagining of the 1992 comedy, White Men Can’t Jump. He’ll also be shining a light on the life of legendary comedian Richard Pryor, and working on an animated flick that will feature music by Bob Marley. And then there’s a team up with Grammy Award winner Pharrell Williams that will see the duo working side by side on a musical centered around the story of Juneteenth. Currently, Barris is heading into laying the final touches on his feature length directorial debut, You People, which he penned alongside Jonah Hill. The comedy boasts an A-list lineup that includes the likes of Hill, Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lauren London, Nia Long, and David Duchovny. On the smaller-screen, Barris and Kid Cudi’s adult animated series Entergalactic hits Netflix next month.