Sci Fi Channel to make Wizard of Oz based miniseries

tinman.jpgThe Wizard of Oz is a pure classic and the original should never be touched, however the movie is filled to the brim with take off possibilities and it looks like th Sci-Fi Channel is going to try and snatch some gold from the yellow brick road. The good people over at darkhorizons.com give us this on Sci Fi’s move toward OZ:

The network has given a green light to “Tin Man”, a six-hour original miniseries described as wild SF reimagining of “The Wizard of Oz” reports Sci-Fi Wire.

The story follows DG, a young woman plucked from her humdrum life and thrust into The Outer Zone (the O.Z.), a fantastical realm filled with wonder, but oppressed by dark magic. DG discovers her true identity, battles evil winged monkey-bats and attempts to fulfill her destiny. Ultimately, DG’s destiny leads her to a showdown with the wicked sorceress Azkadellia, whose ties to DG are closer than anyone could have imagined.

This project is written by Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle, shooting is slated to begin early 2007 in Vancouver with a December 2007 release set.

There have actually been quite a few attempts, successful and otherwise of bringing Oz to television if you click here you can see them, my personal favorite is The Muppet’s do The Wizard of Oz where Miss Piggy played all four witches.

This sounds pretty good. I mean it could be completely terrible but at a first glance this gets me interested. A sci-fi take on OZ, I can dig it.

What might work well is if they involve aspects of OZ that always felt sci-fi anyway. Like the little people, to me they always seemed very alien having these little people among Dorothy. Or the ruby slippers don’t hold a spell they are actually made out of special crystals that could power a whole universe, and here Dorothy is walking around on them all day, getting them scuffed, having no real idea of what they are worth, only that people want them. Yep, there are some cool possibilities here.

What could go wrong though is in an attempt to have a fresh look at the concept of this magical story the creators could go so far away from the original and over the top with the sci-fi genre that the appeal of an OZ with a sci-fi twist would be lost.

To the best of my knowledge and research there has never been a sci-fi version of The Wizard of Oz. And as long as the commercials for it don’t look like Cleopatra 2525 meets Oz I will be open to seeing it.

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14 thoughts on “Sci Fi Channel to make Wizard of Oz based miniseries

  1. Is there any plans within 5 years for a movie to be made? And How would I get in touch with the company that have the ownership of the last one?

  2. I saw this story on Cinematical and it felt very very wrong. Not because it’s taking the framework of Wizard of Oz and reimagining it, but because it sounds really bad.

    Quoting from the Dark Horizons link
    Her perilous journey begins on the fabled Old Road that leads to a wizard known as the Mystic Man. Along the way, she is joined by “Glitch,” an odd man missing half his brain; “Raw,” a quietly powerful wolverine-like creature longing for inner courage; and “Cain,” a heroic former policeman (known in the O.Z. as a “Tin Man”), who is seeking vengeance for his scarred heart.

    Okay, they lost me at “Mystic Man”. The name made me think of the shaman from Pterodactyl Woman From Beverly Hills. DG will be a standard cliched “strong, independent woman”. Raw and Glitch sound interesting. Then we get to “Tin Man”, “who is seeking vengeance for his scarred heart”, be still my beating heart. Are there any cops that aren’t seeking revenge for something?

    Now, I loved Mammoth, a Sci Fi movie about a vampire undead mammoth, so it’s not like I’m expecting Citizen Kane.

    However, I’m prepared to be pleasantly surprised as I prefer my movies to be offbeat. At the moment it just sounds like random ideas picked out by a herd of manatee.

    (I hope I used the right tags)

  3. I agree I would like to see them do return to oz now with updated effects…the electro shock is a bit full on but the old one still holds up quite well….it is very dark for a kids film too…..

  4. darren, you are right the Baum books are a little dark, particularly some of the characters like the Nome King and other villians. I think what I meant to say is that the core characters like the Tin Man, Dorothy, Princess Ozma and the gang in the Emerald City weren’t dark and most of the Baum books basically have some group of them getting in trouble in the hinterlands of Oz which didn’t acknowledge the laws of the Emerald City.

    Having said that Return to Oz which combined books 2 and 3 (though electro-shocking Dorothy was a dumb idea) is actually quite good for the 1980s, I would love to see what they could do with modern technology. Its the movie execs not the public that thinks the Judy Garland couldn’t be touched. Disney basically disowned Return to Oz when it was made and did nothing to market it.

  5. you know what is underrated…..the sequel they made years ago return of oz starring a very young faruiza balk(sp?)

    it is very creepy and has a really good premise…check it out

  6. I’ll be honest. I dont watch Sci Fi channel too often. Every now and then, they’ll show something like ‘Close Encounters’ or an interesting UFO biopic, but their made for tv movies sicken me.

    I actually havent seen their version of Battlestar Galactica (sorry John), not because it doesn’t interest me, but because I can rarely find the time to watch a series like that or Lost of 24, where you have to dedicate yourself to every episode.

    Now quite a bit of their miniseries (like Dune and then there was Earthsea or something) have been pretty good. Judging by those, maybe this could be pretty good?

  7. Scifi Channel sucks these past years

    P.S.

    I miss the Scifi Channel from the 90’s when showed anime, tv shows like Mystery Science Theater 3000, and the good horror/scifi movies not the shitty ones that they produce.

  8. I had thought the Baum books were intended to be a little dark, but what stigma ‘Wizard Of Oz’ has is the Judy Garland musical, a beloved classic that in many minds should never be messed with (one of the reasons why 1985’s “Return” was widely trounced on, as Jack implied)…I have to say that maybe the “Pretender” duo have an interesting idea. In the long run, I don’t think it will fly any higher than a witches’ broomstick.

    By the way, anyone read a short story “Emerald City Blues” by Steven R. Boyett? It was in a collection called “Midnight Graffiti”.
    Adapt that!

    Hahahaha

  9. Didn’t Tim Burton have an Oz-themed pilot with Melissa George that never went anywhere (or even aired) a couple of years back?

    A new Oz project seems nice but I dunno. All the new “Oz” ideas seem bent on the idea of a “dark Oz” which is just the opposite of the world Baum intended. Baum did write 13 Oz books after the Wizard of Oz and the only film that has even ventured into that territory has been the underrated “Return to Oz”. Personally I think they should go back to the source material (the books), if Narnia and LOTR can get the right treatement, why not Oz?

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