“Dorothy” marks Michele’s first work in features following Broadway roles in “Spring Awakening” and “Les Misérables” and the breakout success of “Glee.”
Story, penned by Randi Barnes, Adam Balsam and Barry Glasser, is an update on “The Wizard of Oz” and centers on Dorothy Gale returning to a tornado-devastated Kansas and then being transported back to Oz to help her friends.
Other voice talent on board includes Jim Belushi as the Lion, Dan Aykroyd as the Scarecrow and Kelsey Grammer as the Tin Man. New characters will be voiced by Oliver Platt as Wiser the Owl, Megan Hilty as the China Princess, Hugh Dancy as as Marshall Mallow and Martin Short as the Jester — Dorothy’s arch-nemesis.
Bryan Adams is writing the first songs and lyrics for the film along with writing partner Jim Vallance.
Summertime is aiming at completing “Dorothy” by the end of next year with distribution not yet set. Veteran animation producer Bonne Radford (“Curious George,” “The Road to El Dorado”) is producing with Dan St. Pierre (“Everyione’s Hero”) directing.
“Dorothy” is based on the writings of children’s author Roger S. Baum, great-grandson of “Wonderful Wizard of Oz” author L. Frank Baum. Summertime — headed Ryan Carroll and Roland Carroll and exec VPs Neil L. Kaufman, Rene Torres and James A. Jones — is aiming to make several more pics based on Roger Baum’s stories.
Musical components will be supervised by Vicki Hiatt with lyrics by Tift Merritt and Mike Himelstein. Jim Dooley will contribute to the score.