UPDATE: Zemickis’ publicist has “emphatically denied that he’ll be involved”.
Apparently, beloved Back To The Future director Robert Zemeckis is in talks to remake The Wizard of Oz, using the original 1939 shooting script. Zemeckis hasn’t made a live-action film since 2000’s Cast Away, choosing instead to focus on creepy motion-capture CG animated weirdness like The Polar Express and Beowulf. He’s also currently developing a CG-animated re-make of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.
Strangely enough, this is actually one of two “Oz” projects in development. The other, titled Oz: The Great And Powerful is a sort of prequel that would star Robert Downey Jr. as the Wizard, and tell of his arrival and adventures in Oz. Spider-man’s Sam Raimi is attached to helm.
I think the Raimi project actually sounds very interesting. I can’t be the only one who thinks Robert Downey Jr. would be a fascinating Wizard. However, to remake the 1939 Wizard of Oz is pure folly. What purpose would it serve other than to show off a CGI Emerald City and green-screened flying monkeys? The millions of Oz fans around the around the world would reject it on principle alone. Zemeckis doesn’t need this, and the movie going public certainly doesn’t either. Plus, Verne Troyer singing “The Lollipop Guild”. You know it would happen. (Shudder)