This was an is-it-April Fool's-Day moment for me this afternoon. First of all, I thought -- foolishly, I realize -- that we were safe from another straight-up adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. (I was open to the possibility of parodies, modernizations, rock musicals, etc.) This is a story that much of the industrialized world literally knows by heart. Can you really tell it these days to anyone but the littlest kids without some sort of wink or angle?

So needless to say I wasn't expecting the announcement that we'd be getting a full-on computer-animated Wizard of Oz in the summer of 2010. And I certainly wasn't expecting the man responsible to be John Boorman, who hasn't made a Hollywood film since the 80s. But, uh... It's coming, pitched not as a remake of the famous film, but as another adaptation of the original novel by L. Frank Baum. It won't be a musical, which might be tough to imagine for people raised on the 1939 movie, but which isn't too surprising: a musical remake would probably be painting itself into a corner.

Boorman, for the uninitiated, is the legendary director of Deliverance and Excalibur. More recently, The Tailor of Panama was excellent. He's never made an animated film, and I think he must have some sort of specific vision for this one. Otherwise it's a very strange late career move.