New Line Cinema has picked up a pitch from writer Mike Van Waes for a new horror movie that is set in the magical world of the classic film The Wizard of Oz. The project will have ties to both the original 1900 L. Frank Baum novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. No specific story details were revealed, and it remains to be seen what characters from The Wizard of Oz will appear in this story, if any.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of this project, which comes in the midst of the studio’s recent success with horror movies. New Line recently released the hit horror movies The Conjuring 2, which earned $320 million at the worldwide box office, and Lights Out, which earned $149 million at the worldwide box office, from just a $5 million budget. New Line will also release the highly-anticipated horror sequel Annabelle 2 on August 11 and the long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King’s IT on September 8.
The original Wizard of Oz movie followed Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland), who has grown dissatisfied with her life on her Auntie Em’s (Clara Blandick) and Uncle Henry’s (Charley Grapewin) Kansas farm. She attempts to run away when a twister strikes, causing Dorothy to beocme knocked unconscious while her entire house (with Dorothy and Toto inside) is lifted up into the funnel cloud and deposited squarely on top of the now-deceased Wicked Witch of the East in Munchkin City, in the County of the Land of Oz. The original movie became a huge hit at the box office and spawned several more reboots and different adaptations.
The most recent theatrical rendition of the Wizard of Oz was director Sam Raimi’s 2013 film Oz: The Great and Powerful, which starred James Franco and Mila Kunis. NBC recently debuted a new series entitled Emerald City, which follows a 20-year-old Dorothy Gale, who becomes transported to a mystical land of competing kingdoms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy. Although we don’t have any plot details yet, this new horror project set in this world seems to be a much different take than anything we’ve seen before.
Writer Mike Van Waes made the Black List in 2015 with his spec script Hammerspace, which was picked up by Warner Bros. He also recently sold a book proposal entitled Peeves to Harper Collins, which was picked up by Fox Animation through Temple Hill. No production schedule was given for this Wizard of Oz Horror Movie, and it remains to be seen when production will begin, or when a release date is handed out.