Oz in the News 9.20.14

l_frank_baum‘Wizard of Oz’ Author’s Life Story Coming to the Big Screen (Exclusive) New Line Cinema has preemptively scooped up spec script Road to Oz, written by hot rising talent Josh Golden. Beau Flynn will produce via his New Line-based FlynnPictureCo. This is how hot Golden and Road to Oz are: The screenwriter and his script, which chronicles the early days of whimsical author L. Frank Baum, are finalists for the 2014 Academy Nicholl Fellowships, which were announced earlier this week.  Golden worked with Nellie Bellflower, who produced Finding Neverland, and Michael Mislove on developing the script. Bellflower and Mislove will now also produce Road to Oz with Flynn.  Scott Sheldon will oversee the project for FlynnPicture Co. Michael Disco and Sam Brown are shepherding it for New Line. The plan is to attach a director as soon as possible. Golden is repped by Resolution. He’ll find out if he received the Nicholls Fellowship when the winner is announced in October.

Bewitched: Roger S. Baum talks about Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return  “The Oz legacy which began 75 years ago is not going to disappear any time soon with the emergence of multimedia platforms and the popularity of visual effects blockbusters like Oz the Great and Powerful (2013).  “There is nothing but pure excitement ahead.  It will slowly take on a more modern look including new worlds and adventures into space.  I touched on this in my new book, The Oz Enigma [Tate Publishing].”  Roger S. Baum concludes, “I hope Oz will continue forever.  It has so much goodness and soft teachings that are sound advice for all.  What I mean by soft teaching, it does not shout good lessons.  It is just there within all the stories.”

Wizard Of One Conjures Albertan Land of Oz  Dorothy is recast as an elderly man named Frank, a nod to the creator, or coincidence? No matter, Frank proves to be just as feisty as the young lady in the original. His lion, scarecrow and “tin man” in this adventure are Jackson, an old man with dementia, Zoey, a cantankerous resident that needs a new heart, and Jerome, this show’s hyper-sensitive cowardly germophobe a-la-Howie Mandel. But wait – all these characters and a number more are played by one man – actor and co-creator Neil James. Calgarian James and his fellow Albertan colleague writer/actor Amos Altman make this geriatric Oz a local affair, as it could take place right here in Calgary for all the audience knows.

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