A new adaptation of the beloved fantasy story, The Wizard of Oz, is coming to the big screen with Kenya Barris set to write and direct a new adaptation for Warner Bros, according to an exclusive from Deadline. The film will be produced by Khalabo Ink Society with Sheila Walcott overseeing the project.
Little information about the new Wizard of Oz adaptation has been given yet with no casting or filming dates announcements, but it’s reported that the film will be a modern re-imagining of the iconic story that so many grew up with. Further information about the film is expected to be revealed as production begins to gear up.
Barris is best known for creating the sitcom television series Black-ish, which spun off into two shows with Grown-ish and Mixed-ish. Audiences will be able to see Barris’ feature directorial debut with the release of You People, which is set for a Netflix release some time this year and stars Eddie Murphy. With the creative behind one of the most beloved and endured stories in film and literature, the new Wizard of Oz could be an exciting and original take to the timeless tale.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by L. Frank Baum, was published in 1900 and has remained a timeless classic for generations of readers. The popularity of the book has led to several significant adaptations which have remained as staples in pop culture with one of the most notable examples being MGM’s The Wizard of Oz from 1939 starring Judy Garland. Other popular renditions of the story include The Wiz starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, based on the musical by William F. Brown, and Oz the Great and Powerful in 2013, the most recent theatrical Oz film which served as a prequel to the original story.
Alongside the release of Barris’ version of the story, another rendition of the Oz story is also on the way with the release of Wicked Part 1 in 2024 directed by Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians). Set to be released in two parts, Wicked Part 1 will be an adaptation of the musical by Stephen Schwartz, which was in turn based on the best-selling novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by author Gregory McGuire. The Wicked story focused on the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West and took the world by storm. The second part is expected to be released the following year.
With several new Oz films on the way, fans of the classic story have a lot to look forward to for the next couple of years.
With the film still in development, Barris’ Wizard of Oz film has no set release date.