Hollywood has certainly been obsessed with the Land of Oz lately. And why not? L. Frank Baum’s creation still gets butts in seats, and it’s public domain so anybody can use it. We’ve had comedies, dramas, and whatever “Tin Man” was supposed to be. Currently we have “Oz as Game of Thrones Ripoff” with NBC’s “Emerald City.” And now there may be an Oz horror movie.
New Line Cinema has announced it has purchased a pitch from writer Mike Van Waes for a scary movie based in the Oz universe. It’s only in pre-production and it’s too early to say if it’ll ever get off the ground, but for now, they’re considering it.
Can you really make a scary movie and set it in Oz of all places? It sounds ridiculous at first, but when you consider the evidence, you most certainly can. 1985’s “Return To Oz” remains one of the most frightening children’s films ever made, and much of its content was taken directly from the books that inspired it. Yes, it was more faithful to the original than the 1939 version — those horrifying costumes were accurate recreations of the illustrations. Those guys on wheels came right out of the second book. Headless Princess Mombi was a combination of two characters, yet everything that happened with her came out of Baum’s mind.
The reality is, a lot of Oz movies soften some of the freakier things that happen, and all it would really take to make an Oz horror movie is to skim the book series and take your pick.
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