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Wizard of Oz is being remade


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4 minutes ago, Classic movie fan said:

https://variety.com/2021/film/news/wonderful-wizard-of-oz-remake-1234904194/

They should leave the classics alone. What's next, Gone with the Wind?

The 1939 version of THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) was a remake. Did you know that?

So if you had told MGM, hey it was already done in 1925, there is no need to do it again, then Judy Garland's version would not exist.

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I've got nothing against remakes in general but what's the point of remaking THE WIZARD OF OZ?

Are there millions of people out there thinking, "Good. I hope they get it right this time."

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What was the point of remaking THE MALTESE FALCON (1931) ten years later? What was the point of remaking LOVE AFFAIR (1939) as AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (1957)..? What was the point of remaking TRUE GRIT (1969) in 2010..?

Typically money is the reason they remake these films, or because they want to retell the story with new technology or newer liberal ideas (political correctness). Or because the producers have to keep everyone on their payroll busy with some sort of project!

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THE WIZARD OF OZ is a definitive classic, in much the same sense as CITIZEN KANE and CASABLANCA. It's not just another film that can be remade. I can't see improvements being made on the other two films either, as well as Wizard which, by the way, may be the most viewed film of all time with its multiple televisions broadcasts and video/DVD sales.

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8 hours ago, TomJH said:

Are there millions of people out there thinking, "Good. I hope they get it right this time."

Haha, I was going to try to say that sarcastically & can't believe you did so first!

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11 hours ago, TopBilled said:

The 1939 version of THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) was a remake. Did you know that?

YES!!  WE KNOW THAT!!  Five other people in discussions I've read so far have made the ritual invoking of "Maltese Falcon was one too!", as both movies must be mentioned at the very utterance of the R-word.

(Even though the 20's silent Oz was technically a fraudulent grab of the rights away from L. Frank Baum's silent-movie company, and bore literally no resemblance to the book except that the characters comically disguise themselves as a scarecrow and tin-man in one scene.)

11 hours ago, TomJH said:

Are there millions of people out there thinking, "Good. I hope they get it right this time."

Yes:  It's called "Chocolate Factory Syndrome", where any remake announced will trigger the Neato-Coming-Soon fans to suddenly bonfire their vanities and dogpile on everything the original movie did "wrong", and how much truer and "Closer to the BOOK!" the new remake will be, so there.

Although this is New Line, not Warner--If Warner, who's franchising the original as one of their new core House Brands, was making it, we'd see a paean to the '39 movie, but since this is Warner's ne'er-do-well Fredo little-brother trying (and failing, qv. the Shaft reboot) to start their own house brands, I'm guessing "Closer to the book!" = "The book is public domain, so we can  do one TOO, so there, nyehh!  😝 "

And I recall a certain Disney movie claiming they were going to be Closer To the Book, This Time...

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The 1939 version of  "The Wizard of Oz" was a remake but the original movie wasn't a renowned classic like the 1939 version. I can see why fans would be upset to see the film being remade. Most moviegoers have no idea that a 1925 version of the movie ever existed. 

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The opportunity to examine the original themes — the quest for courage, love, wisdom and home — feels more timely and urgent than ever. These are profoundly iconic shoes to fill, and I am eager to dance alongside these heroes of my childhood as we pave a newly minted yellow brick road!”

Oh brother, I guess this will be some pontificating piece that will forever soil my memory of the 1939 version.  Today's films basically fall into two categories:

A. Big CGI fest superhero movies that are short on dialogue so they can get box office outside of the USA.

B. Some speechifying piece where Hollywood tells us how the rest of us are doing everything wrong.

Missing in both cases: Characters I care about, clever dialogue, and fun. Or mystery. Or any of the usual reasons I watch a film. 

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28 minutes ago, Classic movie fan said:

The 1939 version of  "The Wizard of Oz" was a remake but the original movie wasn't a renowned classic like the 1939 version. I can see why fans would be upset to see the film being remade. Most moviegoers have no idea that a 1925 version of the movie ever existed. 

Sorry I am not buying your first sentence. You don't know how renowned it was or not in 1939. I am sure people had seen the 1925 version and remembered it fondly. 

Also you are trying to say people are ignorant about the 1925 film, but I would suspect that there are plenty of little kids today who have never seen the 1939 version or tried watching it and couldn't get into it. A new version with the kind of digital effects they crave might be more to their enjoyment.

The real point is that the story can be re-interpreted and enjoyed by a new generation of viewers. 

And nobody is saying don't watch the 1925 version and don't watch the 1939 version. It is possible to watch and enjoy each one (or to dislike each one).

Again I think there is an overinflated bias towards the 1939 version. I love the '39 version but I do not think it should be the only one people watch.  Who are we to dictate that..?

From a financial point of view if a new remake is a hit, then the studio can do a series of sequels since L. Frank Baum wrote many books featuring these beloved characters. 

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THE WIZARD OF OZ has been shown on television since the late '50s on a regular basis, as well as available in home videos formats for the past 30 years or so. It is one of the few "kid films' that adults can thoroughly enjoy, as well. Like a number of other films universally hailed as classics (it is available for viewing in China, for example), it is a production that is part of the film watching DNA of many people.

My point is that any film so cherished holds a special affection in fan esteem not felt by 99% of other films. Yes it can be remade but undoubtedly at the cost of some resentment by many over trying. As I indicated in my original post why remake this one when the 1939 film continues to enjoy a popularity eclipsing that of most films ever made. It is not a classic that has dated.

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By the way, those blue flying monkeys still freak me out.

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The Wizard of Oz was not considered an "instant classic" at its release.  Although it was widely praised critically, it didn't have a robust box office on its original release.  It didn't make a profit until its 1949 re-release, and didn't really achieve "classic" status until the TV networks started their annual tradition of airing it. 

Like it or not, the book on which it's based is in the public domain (and has been for decades), and anyone can now use the story elements from the book freely.  All the Baum Oz books are now in the PD.  Other authors have since created new books based on the Oz "universe."  There are over 40 Oz books that have been published.   Baum wrote 14 of them.

Since the original source material is now PD, that's why you also have things like The Wiz, and Wicked, and some of the Disney Oz ventures.

Filmmakers won't be able to use material that originated in the 1939 film (like the ruby slippers) that MGM added or changed and weren't in the original source material, without permission.  The 1939 film's copyright runs out in 2035.

There were Oz films made in 1910 and 1925.

 

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Is it going to be a musical or just the story? If it were done without music, it might be ok. The movie left stuff out. But if they are writing songs, they are asking for trouble......

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

Sorry I am not buying your first sentence. You don't know how renowned it was or not in 1939. I am sure people had seen the 1925 version and remembered it fondly. 

Also you are trying to say people are ignorant about the 1925 film, but I would suspect that there are plenty of little kids today who have never seen the 1939 version or tried watching it and couldn't get into it. A new version with the kind of digital effects they crave might be more to their enjoyment.

The real point is that the story can be re-interpreted and enjoyed by a new generation of viewers. 

And nobody is saying don't watch the 1925 version and don't watch the 1939 version. It is possible to watch and enjoy each one (or to dislike each one).

Again I think there is an overinflated bias towards the 1939 version. I love the '39 version but I do not think it should be the only one people watch.  Who are we to dictate that..?

From a financial point of view if a new remake is a hit, then the studio can do a series of sequels since L. Frank Baum wrote many books featuring these beloved characters. 

Well, from anything I've found out about the '25 version, it really wasn't as well received by audiences as it was to some critics.  And likely long before the '39 remake was mostly forgotten, not "beloved".  TCM had shown it before, and I sadly missed it then, interested in seeing OLIVER HARDY as the Tin Man.  :D  Hopefully, they'll show it again.   And I've yet to know of any kid from any generation so far, that hasn't been enchanted by the '39 classic.  Sure, some might be a bit bored until the color comes in, but at that point their eyes are glued.   I have a grandnephew, now 28 who always loved the movie (funny tale about that I'll relate sometime) and now has his own little boy( now 5) who since first seeing it a year ago watches it while sitting cross-legged on the floor and will bounce up and down with excitement and yell and cheer at certain spots.  Plus I suspect there'll always be little kids whose parents, also initiated to the '39 version at an early age and still like it, will insist on showing it to there kids as well, and on and on....  Plus, I'm unaware of ANY kids who "crave" any specific special effects.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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So I have amend my statement a bit.  This remake is being made by New Line Cinema, which is under the AT&T umbrella, and AT&T now holds the rights to the MGM film, so they can reuse the 1939 film elements.

I haven't seen any press release or public statement regarding the type of film yet (musical or not).

 

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Just now, txfilmfan said:

So I have amend my statement a bit.  This remake is being made by New Line Cinema, which is under the AT&T umbrella, and AT&T now holds the rights to the MGM film, so they can reuse the 1939 film elements.

I haven't seen any press release or public statement regarding the type of film yet (musical or not).

My guess is it won't be a "pure" musical but will still have some musical elements.

One way today's filmmakers increase the chances of box office success is to make movies that are genre hybrids. So undoubtedly it will have some comic gags thrown in for the low-brow masses, it will have some music, it will have some frightening parts (the witch will be presented as a character out of a horror movie) and so on.

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14 hours ago, Classic movie fan said:

https://variety.com/2021/film/news/wonderful-wizard-of-oz-remake-1234904194/

 

They should leave the classics alone. What's next, Gone with the Wind?

No so called classic is being touched.    In fact so called remakes,  bring attention to original versions.

Really what harm is caused to an original version when a new adaptation is done?  NONE!

ALSO,   movie makers have made new adaptation since the beginning of film making.    I.e. new adaptations are NOT something that is recent. 

E.g.  Huston's The Maltese Falcon was the 3rd try by Warner Bros;     The Strawberry Blonde the second attempt,   etc....

 

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Just now, TopBilled said:

My guess is it won't be a "pure" musical but will still have some musical elements.

One way today's filmmakers increase the chances of box office success is to make movies that are genre hybrids. So undoubtedly it will have some comic gags thrown in for the low-brow masses, it will have some music, it will have some frightening parts (the witch will be presented as a character out of a horror movie) and so on.

Even the original did that.  The gothic castle the WWOTW lived in echoes the Universal horror castles of the Dracula/Frankenstein ilk.  The Emerald City sequences, with their au courant  Art Deco stylings, copied the stylish musicals and Manhattan dramas and comedies of the era.   The sepia-toned bookends are straight out of the Depression-era midwest sagas.   Lahr's Cowardly Lion schtick is rooted in his vaudeville/burlesque traditions.

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14 hours ago, TomJH said:

I've got nothing against remakes in general but what's the point of remaking THE WIZARD OF OZ?

Are there millions of people out there thinking, "Good. I hope they get it right this time."

What's the point????

What's the point with such a question.

They are NOT remaking a film but instead using the original novel by Baum to make their own film

So that is the point: for new artists to use high quality source material to provide their own vision to the viewing public.

I have to assume those complaining have never attempted to create any artistic work.   Those that do understand the above POV.

Should I not play a song because someone has played it before?

 

 

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I am eager to see what they come up with for the remake.

But I will say right now, it will be disappointing if they try to make some of the characters too glamorous. 

For instance...if they hire Angelina Jolie to play the witch, based on her performance as MALEFICENT, instead of giving it to someone less attractive like Roseanne Barr (who successfully played the witch in a late 90s Broadway revival).

Also I hope they don't cast Professor Marvel with an over the hill box office star. He needs to be played by a true character actor. 

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Just now, TopBilled said:

I am eager to see what they come up with for the remake.

But I will say right now, it will be disappointing if they try to make some of the characters too glamorous. 

For instance...if they hire Angelina Jolie to play the witch, based on her performance as MALEFICENT, instead of giving it to someone less attractive like Roseanne Barr (who successfully played the witch in a late 90s Broadway revival).

Also I hope they don't cast Professor Marvel with an over the hill box office star. He needs to be played by a true character actor. 

As I'm sure you know, the original idea for MGM's 1939 version was to have a more glamourous witch...

Image result for original wicked witch of the west

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1 minute ago, txfilmfan said:

As I'm sure you know, the original idea for MGM's 1939 version was to have a more glamourous witch...

Image result for original wicked witch of the west

Right-o! I thought about Ms. Sondergaard when I crafted my previous post.

And as I am sure you know, she was dropped in favor of Margaret Hamilton because Mayer and company realized the wicked witch of the west should not be attractive.

Glinda's supposed to be the attractive one.

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I am sure one of the trio will be African American, Hispanic or Asian.

There will be some political correctness in terms of the casting of the main roles and I am fine with that. 

Also one of the supporting characters (Professor Marvel, Glinda, Aunt Em, Uncle Henry) will be played by a British performer to ensure European sales.

There's a formula that today's Hollywood uses in its remakes.

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