CATEGORIES Classics, Drama, Music & Musicals, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Deals, Newsstand, Remakes and Sequels, Movie News, CinematicalI'll admit right up front that I'm a sucker for The Wizard of Oz. Well, maybe "sucker" isn't the right word because that sounds negative. Ok, let's go with "fan." Yeah, that's better. Anyway, The Wizard of Oz is a classic film for the ages. It's a great story, complete with fantastic worlds, terrific characters, fun songs and even one or two important lessons learned along the way. Through the years, I've watched the movie over and over, enjoying it each and every time, secure in the knowledge (for the most part) that there weren't too many attempts at sequels or, worse yet, reimaginings to ruin the experience.
Of course, there have been a few attempts -- most notably the "official" animated sequel Journey Back to Oz , the much darker Return to Oz featuring Nicol Williamson and Fairuza Balk as Dorothy and the ill-conceived urban musical The Wiz. But for the most part, these attempts were few and far between, have been met with minimal success and can pretty much be forgotten. But now, for some reason, it seems the Sci-Fi Channel is trying to get into the act with its own version of the classic story -- and yes, they've even used the dreaded word "reimagining" to describe their show. According to Sci-Fi Wire, the channel has given a green light to a mini-series called Tin Man, exec. produced by Robert Halmi Sr. and Jr. and described in the article as "a wild Sci-Fi reimagining of The Wizard of Oz." Mmmm, yeah.
The plot of this version, written by Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle, tells the story of a young woman named D.G. who is plucked from her boring life and transported to The Outer Zone (aka the O.Z.), a fantastic realm oppressed by dark magic. Once there, she must take a perilous journey along the fabled Old Road to a wizard known as the Mystic Man. Along the way, she's joined by Glitch, a man missing half his brain, Raw, a quiet but powerful wolverine-like creature who's lost his courage and Cain, a former policeman known as Tin Man who seeks revenge for his damaged heart. Ultimately, D.G.'s journey will lead her to an ultimate showdown with an evil sorceress called Azkadellia, whose ties to D.G. go deeper than anyone realizes.
This is the part where I say how much I think this thing is going to suck and how disappointed I am that anyone would even attempt to make this. In the world where I run the studios and control everything, this kind of thing would never happen. You just shouldn't mess with a classic like The Wizard of Oz. Period. Unfortunately, that's not the world we live in and instead, we're going to be subjected to this travesty. My only consolation is that this show will ultimately blow and then fade away into oblivion where it belongs. However, if you, for some reason, have any interest in this project, production is slated to begin in early 2007 in Vancouver (where else?) with an eye toward a December 2007 premiere. I don't know about you, but this is not something I want for Christmas.