Oz in the News 7.7.11

Warner Bros. Wins Legal Decision Over Control of ‘Wizard of Oz’ Film Characters; What Does This Mean For ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’?  We agree with the district court’s conclusion that Dorothy, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind, and Tom and Jerry each exhibit “consistent, widely identifiable traits” in the films that are sufficiently distinctive to merit character protection under the respective film copyrights….Put more simply, there is no evidence that one would be able to visualize the distinctive details of, for example, Clark Gable’s performance before watching the movie Gone with the Wind, even if one had read the book beforehand. At the very least, the scope of the film copyrights covers all visual depictions of the film characters at issue, except for any aspects of the characters that were injected into the public domain by the publicity materials.

‘Mad Men’ Actress Abigail Spencer Heads to ‘Oz’   Abigail Spencer has been cast in Disney’s Oz, the Great and Powerful, the prequel-ish take on The Wizard of Oz tale being directed by Sam Raimi. Spencer is joining a production that sees James Franco as Oz and Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams as three powerful witches he runs into when his hot air balloon carries him into a fabled land. Spencer will play a young woman who is a willing subject of Oz’s magic tricks which the erstwhile magician is performing in Kansas.

Gregory Maguire wraps up ‘Wicked’ series  “Out of Oz,” the fourth and final volume of Gregory Maguire’s million-selling take on “The Wizard of Oz,” will come out on Nov. 1.  Publisher William Morrow announced Wednesday that “Out of Oz” will feature all sorts of magical mayhem, with the Emerald City plotting an attack on Munchkinland, while the Cowardly Lion runs for his life. Young Dorothy pops in for “something more than a cameo.”

Rufus Wainwright to present Judy Garland doc for Radio 2  The concert has been dubbed the “greatest night in showbusiness history” and Wainwright’s programme, called Dear Judy, will chart the story behind the event. Radio 2 said it will look at the show’s “implications for one of the best-loved performers of all time”. The programme will be broadcast on July 26 as part of the station’s summer line-up. Wainwright is set to perform his own Judy Garland tribute concert at the Royal Opera House on July 18.


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