The last time a so-called 'urban' musician took on The Wizard of Oz, we ended up with The Wiz. Hopefully things will work out a little better this time. Variety reports that Pras Michel (of The Fugees) has secured the film and television rights to the comic series Dark Oz. The story centers on a much more violent and scary Land of Oz. A grown-up Dorothy Gale is back in town along with some of the familiar faces (Tinman, The Scarecrow), and even some less familiar characters from Frank L. Baum's fantasy.

The comics were created by Aaron Denenberg, Ralph Griffith and Stuart Kerr, and were released by Caliber Comics. After twenty issues, six specials, and two three-issue limited series, the Oz line was completed. Then, the series was revived under Arrow Comics and earned the name change of Dark Oz to finish the stories originally started in the first series. After five issues, another name change was on board, and Dark Oz became The Land of Oz. When these later stories began, a much more conventional (and far less Gothic) vision of Oz returned.

Pras is planning to produce all three live action films adapted from the Dark Oz line. Plus, he has his sights on playing The Scarecrow in the feature film. For those of you out there who only know Pras as a musician, he already has plenty of experience in the business. In 2007, he produced and starred in a documentary about the homeless, and he is also behind the sci-fi thriller The Mutant Chronicles with Thomas Jane. There is no word yet on who Pras has in mind to write or direct Oz, but stay tuned to Cinematical for any updates that come our way.