The flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz were scary as a child. They wanted to kidnap Dorothy. However, what if they wanted to kill her instead? Or the Munchkins were not really that excited about the fact that she killed the wicked Witch of the East and Glinda had something else up her sleeve?
New Line Cinema has decided it’s time to put a dark spin on what is behind the curtain. The Warner Bros. owned studio has acquired a horror pitch from Black List screenwriter Mike Van Waes. The unnamed project is reportedly in the early development stages and connected to the 1900 L. Frank Baum novel, and first in a series of 14 books, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. There is also a rumor it will also have ties to the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz, staring Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale. Since no specific story details have been revealed, it is uncertain if any of the characters from the book will appear or if the plot will simply take place in Oz.
The original movie followed Dorothy as she was “transported” to Oz by a tornado, killing the Wicked Witch of the East in Munchkin City. She then travels to the City of Oz to find a way back home to Kansas, befriending a Scarecrow, Tin-Man, and Lion while avoiding the Wicked Witch of the West.
The movie was a huge hit at the box office, spawning several more reboots and different adaptations. Others include The Wiz (1978) with Michael Jackson and Diana Ross and Oz The Great and Powerful (2013) with Mila Kunis and James Franco. In 2016, NBC debuted the show Emerald City, which uses lore from all the novels in the series. [You can read recaps here.]
The first book was also turned into a Broadway musical in 1902 and, in more recent years, the musical Wicked opened in 2003 is still currently enjoying a popular run.
New Line already has their fingers in the horror genre, producing the Conjuring films, which have been hits at the box office. In August they will releases the highly anticipated sequel Annabelle 2 and in October, an adaptation of Stephen King’s killer clown book, It.
No dates have been provided for when production will begin, or an anticipated release date.