The Wizard of Oz

I liked the movie Excalibur. I think it’s the best depiction of the Arthurian legend put on film. Director John Boorman (Hope and Glory) based it on Thomas Malory’s fifteenth century book Le Morte d’Arthur and it’s an effective adaptation of Malory’s work.

Now Boorman has signed on to direct a new film of a book that has grown into a legend, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. Boorman could be an interesting choice for the job of adapting Baum’s classic book into a new non musical animated film version. Boorman took the world of King Arthur and brought it down to earth making the legends come to life by letting his heroes be flawed. He made Arthur, Guinevere, the knights, even the Wizard Merlin more alive by making them human.

Boorman took the terrors of England under siege during WW2 and by showing the events through the eyes of a child made the bombed out landscape a playground for nine year old protagonist Bill. Who can forget Bill saying “Thank you Mr. Hitler” upon seeing his school destroyed by a German bomb.

What will Boorman do with Oz? The film is going to be created with computer animation and this can really open up the world of Oz in contrast to Dorothy’s Kansas prairie. It’s the first time Boorman has directed an animated film. Let’s see what he does with the technology.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz will have a built in audience of fans who can’t get enough Oz. As the television miniseries “Tinman” showed, there’s more than one way to tell the story of Dorothy, her dog Toto, the Tinman, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and their journey to wish fulfillment in Oz.

Are there Wizard of Oz fans out there and if so how do you feel about the prospect of a new film adaptation?

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