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Warners, McFarlane return to ‘Oz’

Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures are teaming on “Oz,” a revisionist take on the L. Frank Baum books that hatched “The Wizard of Oz.” Project was acquired based on an idea by Todd McFarlane that was fleshed out and pitched by Josh Olson (“A History of Violence”). Olson will write and McFarlane will produce with Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk. Rick Benattar (“Shoot ’Em Up”) will serve as executive producer.

Conversations with McFarlane and Olson make it clear that they are still working out the tone of the film. They have plenty to work with. WB has owned the rights to the original “The Wizard of Oz” since buying Ted Turner’s empire, whose assets included the film and other plum titles in the MGM library. There are also 15 novels in the Oz series written by Baum, most in the public domain.

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