Nicole Kassell (“Watchmen”) is directing the film, an adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s beloved book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Baum’s story has been retold on the big and small screen many times over the years; the most memorable being the classic 1939 musical starring Judy Garland.
Yet New Line promises the upcoming film will be a “fresh take” on Dorothy and the Land of Oz, adding that it can “draw on other elements” from Garland’s “Wizard of Oz” — like the prized ruby red slippers.
“I am incredibly honored to join Temple Hill and New Line in bringing this beloved classic to the screen,” Kassell said. “While the 1939 musical is part of my DNA, I am exhilarated and humbled by the responsibility of re-imagining such a legendary tale. 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!”
Previous screenplay drafts were written by Darren Lemke and the duo of Neil Widener and Gavin James.
Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey from Temple Hill and Marc Platt will produce. Isaac Klausner will executive produce.
Kassell recently won an Emmy and a DGA award for HBO’s “Watchmen.” As executive producer and director of several episodes, Kassell is regarded as the visual architect of the acclaimed series. Her flair for world-building is what made New Line eager to hire Kassell to reimagine “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”
Kassell’s first feature was “The Woodsman,” which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2004. She’s also worked on “The Leftovers,” “Vinyl” and TNT’s “Claws.” Her upcoming projects include directing the HBO pilot “The Baby” and the movie “Silver Seas” for Participant Media.
Deadline first reported the news.