Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Todd McFarlane talks The Twisted Land Of Oz

Slow news day people, but I figured I'd post about this movie because it has frustrated and intrigued me since I first heard about it. Todd McFarlane revealed some new details on story elements to MTV about the screen adaptation of his The Twisted Land of Oz toy line. This film is set to be darker and scarier than The Wizard of Oz.

McFarlane's chief concern is delivering an Oz that is darker than what people know. As he told execs during pitch meetings, "Number one: you have to turn off the switch to the [1939] MGM movie. If you don't turn off that switch, almost everything I'm about to say will not make sense to you."

"Basically," McFarlane reasoned, "what do I have to do to sell a 22 year old kid going to college [to come] see something called 'Oz'?"

"In mine, [Dorothy is] up in the Antarctic, and there's bad weather," McFarlane said. "The point is that when you're in bad weather in a s--tty place up north, it is completely gray. That would be our 'black & white [sequence].' Then she falls into her Shangri-La, called Oz, where suddenly everything's in color."

"There's still a thing called Toto, except its the biggest thing in the movie and not the smallest thing. [The beast called Toto] basically ate the first dog, and it's this big thing that [the inhabitants of Oz] ride. They've given this generic word... so instead of horses, [people] ride Totos."

"My understanding is that [the studio] thought we went a little too conservative, so somebody else is taking a crack at [the script] now. We're never going to get as crazy as I wanted, so I have to accept that. My pitch is fairly radical, if you will. If you're 22 years old, it's not radical. If you're an executive, it's radical."

"I think the first script was just a little soft for them," McFarlane explained. "I've always been a believer that the reason remakes don't work is that they stay too true to the source material. Hopefully we'll have a new script in the next month or two, and then we'll be a lot closer to seeing whether it will grab some true momentum or whether we're heading into development hell here."

Antarctica? People riding Totos? Do the 22 year olds have to be high off their asses to understand this? Oh right. We have to pretend The Wizard of Oz never happened, which is evidently easier said than done. Though now that I think of it, maybe you'd have to be pretty high to accept singing tin men and a melting witch. I'm so used to The Wizard of Oz I'd forgotten my original WTF reaction to it. I'm thinking if this adaptation is a disaster, at least it will be an inventive one.

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