This is the first time I have heard about a new Wizard of OZ film. It was just announced yesterday that John Boorman is set as its director. But, it looks like he has been helping to develop it for some time now. Action Synthese is the studio that is going to do the CGI work on the film. So far things are looking pretty good. The designs are very friendly and have an interesting style.
The Wonderful 'Wizard of OZ' is not a remake of the first film but it sounds like it is going to be a very solid version of the novel by Franck L. Baum. John Boorman seems to have a very strong respect to both the book and the classic movie. Below the pic is a statement he put out on Action Synthese website.
Based upon the original work by Franck L. Baum, The Wizard of Oz is a literary and cinematographic milestone which animated cinema must approach with respect. Why should we make an animated version of this story at all? Given the technical limitations of the day, and the demands of live action, the iconic MGM film could only engage with a fraction of the novel. Animation will allow up to explore the magical fantasy of the book and bring the array of strange and frightening creatures to life.Therefore my objective in recreating the universe of the land of Oz is to realize the glories of Franck Baum's novel. The Wizard of Oz is first and foremost a fairytale telling the story of a young girl who has lost her parents and lives in the countryside with her aunt and her uncle but dreams of another reality, of escape, of finding friends who will compensate for the loss of her parents.
Dorothy's journey through the land of Oz relates a child's coming of age, the transition from childhood to adulthood. Dorothy learns that she must put away childish things, take responsibility, and become an adult. She is the only child in the land of Oz, and she has to understand that adults live in an ambiguous world in which the border between the good and the bad is often blurred.
In the original work, the handling of the female characters has been subjected to tremendous care. All the strong and powerful characters are women: Dorothy, the Witch, Glinda. Whereas males are deficient: the Wizard of Oz, the Tin Man, the Lion, the Scarecrow.
Nature also plays a key role in this magical world. It possesses a soul and is inhabited by mysterious forces. This nature isn't tamed like ours, it belongs to the witches and the wizards. Nature is accordingly handled in the script as a genuine character.
Eventually, the harmony of the film will rest on the atmosphere, for which light is crucial. Today's animated films generally tend to be over lit. These delightful and touching characters, Dorothy's companions, represent aspects of the human condition. I will set them in a magical landscape that contains deep shadows and dark mysterious places which reminds us of the hazards we all face as we make our way through the world.
Such a setting will allow Dorothy to remain this unique character who has been through a century of literature and cinema history and is still able to seduce generations of viewers.
It really sounds like this film is in good hands. Check out their website to see more. Your thoughts?