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Wizard of Oz is being remade


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Are they doing a straight remake of the 1939 film or a new adaptation of Frank L. Baum's book? If it's the latter, I could see how this might be okay, especially if they incorporated story elements from the original books that were left out of the 1939 film adaptation.  The ruby slippers were added by MGM to the film version.  In the original books, I think the slippers are silver, but MGM changed it to red for the Technicolor and they'd stand out more from the yellow brick road.  Or will this film be a combination of elements from the books and the film?  There are numerous volumes to Frank L. Baum's 'Oz' stories, the Wizard of Oz section is just a tiny part of the story.

Whatever the final product ends up being, people are going to automatically go into it with high expectations and comparisons to the 1939 version.  It's inevitable. 

I'm sure that they'll rely on CGI for much of the art direction, which is unfortunate.  It'd be refreshing if they actually went old school and designed a real set with handmade special effects.  Part of the charm of the 1939 film, for me at least, is the set direction--knowing that the yellow brick road was hand painted with just your average yellow paint, and that  the tornado is made with muslin.  All of the handmade set decoration and special effects are what give classic films (any classic film) their charm, at least to me.  Not that  doing CGI is easy, I'm sure it's actually very difficult, but you lose something in the process and oftentimes it comes off looking too fake and bland.

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26 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

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?

I relate this to stage plays, especially Shakespearean works. Imagine if someone told Laurence Olivier, sorry buddy you cannot play Hamlet because it's already been done before.

Screen Shot 2020-02-11 at 10.49.19 AM.jpeg

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

I relate this to stage plays, especially Shakespearean works. Imagine if someone told Laurence Olivier, sorry buddy you cannot play Hamlet because it's already been done before.

Screen Shot 2020-02-11 at 10.49.19 AM.jpeg

Clearly "why" and "what's the point" type questions are from the POV of the consumer and not the artists involved.   

As for film to me the most creative aspect is the screenplay:  most books cover 100s of hours of potential film scenes,  but a  film is only a few hours. 

Therefor related to the book the screenwriters have to decide: what characters are cutout,  which supporting characters are emphasized or downsized,    what scenes are included or not (or minimized),  etc...    This is where all the major decisions are made.    I would hope most screenwriters don't use an original screenplay from an original version as a starting place for there own,  but instead read the book!       Of course they may watch prior film versions but only as reference.       Note I just read The Scarlett Pimpernel.   Really fine book (a great combination of romance and adventure).   Of course I have seen the 1934 film version with Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon,  and I love it!   But after reading the book,  I started to create a draft outline of my own screenplay.     (yea,  I'm bored since I can't jam with the band due to Covid).    E.g.  the ending of the film is much different.   The book has the Pimpernel disguised as a poor Jewish fellow.    This disguises fools  the French du e to their bigotry.    That angle is very interesting.

The point being there is a lot for a creative person to "harvest" using a book as the source material.   It is at the heart of the creative process.   Sadly most consumers appear to be blind to this.

 

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18 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Clearly "why" and "what's the point" type questions are from the POV of the consumer and not the artists involved.   

As for film to me the most creative aspect is the screenplay:  most books cover 100s of hours of potential film scenes,  but a  film is only a few hours. 

Therefor related to the book the screenwriters have to decide: what characters are cutout,  which supporting characters are emphasized or downsized,    what scenes are included or not (or minimized),  etc...    This is where all the major decisions are made.    I would hope most screenwriters don't use an original screenplay from an original version as a starting place for there own,  but instead read the book!       Of course they may watch prior film versions but only as reference.       Note I just read The Scarlett Pimpernel.   Really fine book (a great combination of romance and adventure).   Of course I have seen the 1934 film version with Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon,  and I love it!   But after reading the book,  I started to create a draft outline of my own screenplay.     (yea,  I'm bored since I can't jam with the band due to Covid).    E.g.  the ending of the film is much different.   The book has the Pimpernel disguised as a poor Jewish fellow.    This disguises fools  the French du e to their bigotry.    That angle is very interesting.

The point being there is a lot for a creative person to "harvest" using a book as the source material.   It is at the heart of the creative process.   Sadly most consumers appear to be blind to this.

Thanks, I am with you on this. I would add that editing is a later stage of the writing process. Sometimes the story has to be tweaked more in the editing phase. Writers have to be good editors of their own work, while editors have to be good writers who understand creative writing if they are going to help fix someone else's story before it goes out to the masses.

I agree that consumers are often unaware of these things. The actors sometimes are not fully aware as well, questioning why lines get cut.

In the case of L. Frank Baum's writing, he created a whole universe with these characters in over a dozen books. Plus as someone else in the thread mentioned, additional writers carried his vision forward. There is no way all of what Baum intended wound up in the earlier film versions. That alone is a reason to do a remake and revisit the whole schema of what he set forth.

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11 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

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?

 

  My feelings exactly. The story has been used a number of times in film, on stage, and television.  Always in different but often  very creative ways.  Nothing has ever been taken away from the classic film.

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It's been many years(maybe too many) since I've read Mr. Baum's time honored book.  And that was after years of watching the Garland movie yearly on TV.  

But I know really nothing about this supposed remake.  As we do know, the '39 "classic" bears little resemblance(save for pertinent characters) to the source material(book).  So, is the proposed "remake" to be an attempt to be a truer adaptation of the book, or a remake of the "classic" MGM musical?   And some ask "What's the point?"  Well....

In alignment with the "Hamlet" example mentioned earlier, I suppose the same could have been said about a stage musical and subsequent film of basically a Shakespeare play that's also been done before(West Side Story) .  How many "Romeo and Juliets" do we need as well?  No matter WHICH form they take?  ;) 

Sepiatone

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Any attempt to do a more or less direct remake of the 1939 original would be silly because why try to improve upon a film regarded by many as perfection or borderline perfection?

I noticed that since the '41 version of Maltese Falcon, for example, there have been no further attempts at the Hammett novel. I can fully understand why.

To attempt a different film adaption with the Baum novels as its basis, rather than the 1939 film, is another matter. I have no idea how many film goers, though, would really care.

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On 2/10/2021 at 12:42 PM, speedracer5 said:

Are they doing a straight remake of the 1939 film or a new adaptation of Frank L. Baum's book? If it's the latter, I could see how this might be okay, especially if they incorporated story elements from the original books that were left out of the 1939 film adaptation. 

 I'm, er, GUESSING it's the "original book" (and if you've seen other "Closer to the book, this time!" remakes to rebelliously thumb their nose at their original films, you'll know why the quote-fingers):

A) Because it's public domain, and New Line can escape Warner's tyrannical ownership of Judy Garland iconography, although Warner let them use the ruby slippers because, y'know,

and

B ) It's "Pocahontas Syndrome":  A small producer taking a public-domain source and acting like the better-known movie was some hideous steamrollering of the material, and convincing themselves and us that they're now out to do the one, true, faithful REAL version!  (We got plenty of real "historical" Pocahontas remakes after Disney's version, like Terence Malick's The New World, we're still getting French versions of "Beauty & the Beast", and let's not even talk about that Andy Serkis "Jungle Book" that went straight to Netflix.)

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Movies over the years have shown a combination of both new material and adaptations of literature and theater.  It's a lot easier to make an argument for lack of creativity by pointing to the movies that are original--and bad, than to point to the instances where works have been adapted.

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1 minute ago, slaytonf said:

Movies over the years have shown a combination of both new material and adaptations of literature and theater.  It's a lot easier to make an argument for lack of creativity by pointing to the movies that are original--and bad, than to point to the instances where works have been adapted.

Yes! Love this post.

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3 hours ago, slaytonf said:

Movies over the years have shown a combination of both new material and adaptations of literature and theater.  It's a lot easier to make an argument for lack of creativity by pointing to the movies that are original--and bad, than to point to the instances where works have been adapted.

Good point;

I would add that during the 30s,    many "B" pictures were based on "original" screenplays that were quickly written based on common storylines \ plot devices  (boy meets girl, etc).   Few of these screenplays were highly creative.   This is why such works were call "programmers"!     Hey,  I love a lot of these films since I enjoy the actors of the era,  and a good director and screenwriter can take a well worn story and using Hollywood magic create something highly enjoyable.   BUT I don't call these "B" programmers highly creative works.     (compared to taking a book with complex characters and storylines,  and reducing that into 90 minutes or so of cinema magic). 

 

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20 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Good point;

I would add that during the 30s,    many "B" pictures were based on "original" screenplays that were quickly written based on common storylines \ plot devices  (boy meets girl, etc).   Few of these screenplays were highly creative.   This is why such works were call "programmers"!     Hey,  I love a lot of these films since I enjoy the actors of the era,  and a good director and screenwriter can take a well worn story and using Hollywood magic create something highly enjoyable.   BUT I don't call these "B" programmers highly creative works.     (compared to taking a book with complex characters and storylines,  and reducing that into 90 minutes or so of cinema magic). 

 

There's also this thesis, that there are only really 6 basic plots in all stories...

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20180525-every-story-in-the-world-has-one-of-these-six-basic-plots

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34 minutes ago, txfilmfan said:

There's also this thesis, that there are only really 6 basic plots in all stories...

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20180525-every-story-in-the-world-has-one-of-these-six-basic-plots

I don't really subscribe to that line of thinking. There are always variations on a theme and different genre hybrid combinations that allow storytellers to remain somewhat original.

Plus I think there are ideas (or at least certain kinds of scenes) that mainstream filmmakers are still afraid to tackle, even in this day and age. 

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Well, the 1939 version is certainly dated for its time. Vaudevillians each and every one added to the mix of a time long ago, the depression and everything. I think that was the beauty of the film. To remake it today, I don't know.  You are certainly not going to find many actors today with the Brooklyn accent reading a sign that says, "I'd toin back if I was you."

Certainly there are no other actors out there that come close to Bert Lahr, Jack Haley and the amazing dancing Ray Bolger. 

Go on! Get in there before I make a dime bank outta you!

The 1939 version is a classic film beloved to us all.  I can't imagine it being remade today, but that's just me. 

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3 hours ago, Janet0312 said:

Well, the 1939 version is certainly dated for its time. Vaudevillians each and every one added to the mix of a time long ago, the depression and everything. I think that was the beauty of the film. To remake it today, I don't know.  You are certainly not going to find many actors today with the Brooklyn accent reading a sign that says, "I'd toin back if I was you."

Certainly there are no other actors out there that come close to Bert Lahr, Jack Haley and the amazing dancing Ray Bolger. 

Go on! Get in there before I make a dime bank outta you!

The 1939 version is a classic film beloved to us all.  I can't imagine it being remade today, but that's just me. 

The 1939 film version is not being remade.   I just don't understand why people can't understand that.

PS:  if the actual point here is that a new adaptation will not be as good of a film as the 1939 version,   that is understandable.  I.e.  the odds of that are 1 \ 100 since the 1939 version is a masterpiece. 

 But that has nothing to do with producers deciding to fund project to produce a new adaptation.  

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28 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

The 1939 film version is not being remade.   I just don't understand why people can't understand that.

We saw something similar being expressed in the WEST SIDE STORY remake threads. People worry that if a remake is successful it will replace the version they love. Instead of understanding there is room for multiple versions and more than one version can be a success and a favorite.

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28 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

We saw something similar being expressed in the WEST SIDE STORY remake threads. People worry that if a remake is successful it will replace the version they love. Instead of understanding there is room for multiple versions and more than one version can be a success and a favorite.

In addition as we have discussed,   new adaptations bring attention to prior versions.    I.e.  people that have never seen the original will often check the original one out after viewing a "current" adaptation.

The was true with the last adaptation of The Women with Meg Ryan:   DVD rentals of the 1940 version went up.  

Only in rare cases does a new adaptation leads to less viewership of the prior versions ; like when a studio own the rights to a prior version and suppresses it,  like what was done with the last adaptation of The Great Gatsby.       

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