The Wizard of Oz is getting remade by the director of Watchmen, Nicole Kassell

Another week, another remake on the horizon. I know I know we are all tired of the reboots and remakes but maybe this new remake in the works could be good. HBO’s Watchmen director, Nicole Kassell, has been tapped to direct The Wizard of Oz remake. New Line will be bringing in Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, and Marc Platt to produce. I guess New Line liked how Kassell was able to adapt DC’s Watchmen comics into an award winning series for HBO. Also, in teaming up with New Line, Nicole will still be working with her HBO family. There is no word on who will be starring in The Wizard of Oz remake or how they plan to reboot the classic, however, Deadline has more on why Kassell was sought for the project:

Her selection follows an extensive director search by New Line to find a visionary filmmaker to re-imagine The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. They liked what they saw in how Kassell acted as a meticulous world-builder in overseeing every step of the Watchmen production, setting the show’s striking visual tone with no detail overlooked and weaving visual cues from the panels of the comic into the series as delicate Easter eggs for fans. Kassell also demonstrated the ability to adapt challenging material, breathing new life into DC’s revered and notoriously difficult-to-adapt graphic novel.

The project keeps Kassell in the WarnerMedia fold, after Watchmen and eps of the HBO series Westworld, The Leftovers, and Vinyl. Kassell also directed the pilot for TNT’s Claws and next directs the HBO pilot The Baby. She also has the film Silver Seas for Participant Media.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in 1900 and inspired 13 additional Oz books. It long has been a Hollywood fixation — the book is in the public domain — and has been the inspiration of numerous project since the classic 1939 musical film The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland. That film is in the Warner Bros library, meaning the fresh take on Baum children’s novel can draw on elements like the ruby slippers, something rival projects cannot do. Previous screenplay drafts were written by Darren Lemke and the duo of Neil Widener and Gavin James.

“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.”

[From Deadline]

The Wizard of Oz was a groundbreaking film of its time. While it wasn’t the first film in color, it was the first film to “prove that color could add fantasy and bring people to theatres despite the failing American economy during the Great Depression.” The Wizard of Oz and its African-American remake, 1978’s The Wiz, were some of my absolute favorite movies when I was a kid. I am not sure if I want to see modern cinema butcher such beautiful memories and like I said, I am absolutely tired of all of the remakes. I really believe that there are more stories and more talent available that could create new and exciting material. However, I get that Hollywood is all about rinse and repeat which is absolutely tragic in my opinion because their avoidance of taking risks often leads to remakes that flop.

With that being said, I absolutely loved what Kassell and co. did with the Watchmen material. Every single episode was epic. HBO’s Watchmen was the best Watchmen remake in my opinion. All of the movies were crap. However, I felt the way Kassell and the team took the original Watchmen material and made it from a Black lens was brilliant. If Kassell was part of the team who decided to do that, then perhaps there is hope for her The Wizard of Oz remake. Whatever the case, I am sure there will be more remakes on the horizon. At this point, it would seem that covid will not be the only reason I stay out of the theatres over the next couple of years.

Nicole Kassell arrives at the 72nd Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards held at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel at L.A. Live on January 25, 2020 in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Image Press Agency)

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Left to Right: MICHAEL JACKSON, American Pop Singer; NIPSEY RUSSELL; DIANA ROSS, American Singer and TED ROSS Stars of the film "The Wiz" COMPULSORY CREDIT: UPPA/Photoshot Photo CAB 170880   21.12.1983

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29 Responses to “The Wizard of Oz is getting remade by the director of Watchmen, Nicole Kassell”

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  1. manda says:

    I love the Oz stories, so I will check it out. I LOVED the wizard of oz as a kid, and can sing all the parts of the “we welcome you to munchkinland” song, I enjoyed “Return to Oz” (most people thought that was creepy as heck, but I still make references to TikTok to no one but myself because none of my people have watched it!), and I feel like SYFY did a weird take a few years ago that was good, and all those gregary (?) maguire books, so I will def check this out!

    • kimmy says:

      I also liked Return to Oz. I was a disney kid and it was always on the disney channel.
      Dorothy had a chicken! and those creepy roller skating minion guys creeped me out.

    • pissykrissy says:

      Ahh TikTok and Jack the weird pumpkin head thing.

      The heads all lined up freaked me out but I still loved that movie as a kid!

    • manda says:

      @ kimmy and pissykrissy

      oh yes it was super creepy! from the very beginning with that horrible electroshock place. I’m surprised I made it past that because that freaked me out. But Billina showed up shortly thereafter, and she was a hoot! And the wheelers were crazy, but they led her to Tiktok, who was so charming. The heads were horrifying. Ugh, I can see now why people didn’t like it, but I guess I was just the right age for it. The only thing I did not like was that Dorothy and the Scarecrow looked so much different than in the original Wizard of Oz, lol

  2. Carol says:

    Can Hollywood ever create something original.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Of Course not! The reason there has been a zillion remakes of BatMan (no counting all the spin-off sub-stories) is because all the remakes make money. Think about it; there was even a Lego BatMan movie, which by the way, cleaned up at the box office.

    • Bunny says:

      There were at least seven Oz productions (six films and a radio play, I think) before the 1939 film with Judy Garland was made.

      So, the “original” we all adore is a remake.

      • manda says:

        love your comment! L Frank Baum wrote a bunch of oz books, and then other people did, too. there is so much story there. I’ve always been surprised there hasn’t been more, but it’s probably because the Judy Garland one is so iconic

  3. Becks1 says:

    Hmmm, I’m intrigued by this. I am definitely over all the remakes, and this movie is so iconic that its going to be hard to get right, but I think if done well, this could add a new dimension to the story.

  4. Emily says:

    The Wizard of Oz was my favourite movie as a kid. It was magical, glamorous and scary all at once and I still rank it as one of my all time favourites because of those memories. Hollywood needs to leave this one alone.

  5. KBeth says:

    This is the last movie that should be redone, leave it alone.

    • LadyMTL says:

      My thoughts exactly. It doesn’t need to be remade or reimagined or whatever other re-word they can think of. I’m so tired of it, though at this rate I’m sure they’ll start pondering remaking the Godfather at some point, they’re so desperate for ideas.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Machete then Machete Kills followed by Machete Kills in Outer Space;!

        How about Godfather in Outer Space??? LOL!

    • Bella says:

      I love the Wizard of Oz and think that it is so iconic that they need to leave it alone. I did not know that there were other books and if they make a movie based on the other books than that would be great. A remake of the Judy Garland one is a NO for me.

  6. Harper says:

    I’m okay with this because no crappy remake can ever replace what the Wizard of Oz meant to me as a child. I’m hoping that modern cinematic magic can create a new world of Oz that is visually swoon-worthy. There is a lot more in L. Frank Baum’s book than what made it to the screen in 1939, so I think there is room for more Oz, in the right hands. However, most remakes tend to dumb down the scripts to the point where the characters and themes are so generic and insipid that I cringe. Since the chances of a smart script are low, all I can hope for is something pretty to look at. And please, no Kristen Stewart as Dorothy. I bet Olivia Rodrigo’s agent is calling the casting company right now.

  7. FHMom says:

    Watchmen was so good. I’ll give this a chance

  8. Anna says:

    Should be directed with Jordan Peele, too. Kassell and Peele, it would be beyond imagining. A whole new Oz

  9. HerkermaHermolker says:

    I absolutely loved the NBC remake Emerald City. It was visually stunning and the story was intriguing and engaging. I was gutted when it wasn’t renewed for a second season

  10. Liz version 700 says:

    Why are they determined to remake our entire childhoods?

  11. Liz version 700 says:


  12. Evenstar says:

    It’s a no for me, dawg.

    • MyOpinion says:

      No for me too! All of those high paying mucky-mucks can’t come up with an original idea between the bunch of them?? Instead they continue to go after films that are history making and such an astonishing actors with measurable screenplays BUT they want to remake The Wizard of Oz?
      They should all be fired!!!

  13. Amelie says:

    Hard pass from me. That movie was such an integral part of my childhood growing up and I am not interested in any reboots/remakes for this one. I knew it had to happen eventually but no one can replace Judy Garland. And I hated the movie The Wiz as a kid for reasons I won’t get into (mostly the set which reminded me of a horror movie and the garbage cans coming to life and chasing the actors which just freaked me out).

    I will check out Watchmen, been meaning to do that for awhile.

  14. BeeCee says:

    The Wizard of Oz and Return to Oz are my absolute favourite movies of all time. I re-watch them often! …but I just can’t get on board with this! No matter how good the production is, the actor is just never going to be right, the cast is just never going to be right. The movie just won’t feel right to me.

    I know I’d be going in and critiquing the heck out of it, and it’ll ruin any experience for me.
    It’s a hard no for me

  15. Original Jenns says:

    My first thought was, if they are remaking it, to do more of an “inspired by” version, and perhaps focus on an immigration viewpoint. I’d love to see a Dorothy of indigenous Mexican, Hmong, or Somali ethnicity. Our state is home to many immigrants with those identities, which is why it would be amazing to see it.

  16. Valerie says:

    Man, I don’t know. I was against it yesterday when the news broke, but now I’m kind of open to it. It could be good? So long as it isn’t overly modern, I think it could work.

  17. Lolafalana says:

    The key for me is that she should start fresh with the books. Go to the source material! The slippers in the books are actually silver, not ruby, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many differences between the books and movies, and there is so much humor in L. Frank Baum’s books that she should be able to do something spectacular with them. I’d love to see a faithful and competent iteration of every single one (that he actually wrote – because some toward the end were written by other people – like fan fiction).