Oz in the News 10.12.16


New WIZARD OF OZ Prequel In Development, Based On HOW THE WIZARD CAME TO OZ RAMstar Studios has announced that they planning a Wizard of Oz prequel film, based on the 1991 novelization “How the Wizard Came To Oz”, by author Donald Abbot, who is also penning the film’s script. The film will be directed by Cole S. McKay, who has done work on films such as Cloverfield and Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. Similar to the 2013 Disney film, Oz the Great and Powerful, the film will explore how circus stuntman Oscar Diggs was whisked away to the land of Oz and how he became the “wizard” encountered by Dorothy in the famous story, The Wizard of Oz. You can check out a plot synopsis below, along with a few promotional posters and an interview with Abbot discussing the film! The film is fully funded with a budget of $35M. They’re currently working on casting and have reached out to Nathan Fillion to take up the role of the Wizard. Filming locations for How The Wizard Came to Oz currently include Los Angeles and Australia.

Take pride in our literary history Rummaging around our iPad the other day, I stumbled across a site for the 10th Annual Wamego “Oztoberfest Festival.” Wamego is a remote town in Kansas about the size of Zeeland. The only connection to the timeless “Wizard of Oz” story seems to be its location in tornado alley. It was a tornado, you recall, that doinked Dorothy on the head with flying debris, launching her on a fantasmical journey to the Land of Oz. It apparently doesn’t take much of a connection to create a festival. Where the story was actually penned is a detail lost to history, but it is no stretch of the imagination to believe that inspiration was drawn every bit as much, if not more, from Macatawa as from Chicago. Picture the exotic castle and grounds at Castle Park, the wooden boardwalks resembling yellow brick roads, the majestic hotels at the mouth of the harbor, the dense and mysterious Waukazoo Woods, and the Jenison Amusement Park where balloon flights were a weekly attraction. Baum’s time in Macatawa and Holland was full of fodder for the author’s imagination.



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