Since Harry Potter
is winding down, Twilight
has hit the last book as well, and recent franchise attempts have produced a string of failures (I’m looking at you, Percy Jackson & the Olympians!), Hollywood is instead looking to the public domain to find the next big thing! Just think about it: no one to pay author royalties to. A familiar brand. Other, classic films that you can leech off of. Little creative risk. More money from Satan. It’s a wonder we haven been flooded with 50 Snow White movies a year for the past two decades!
Let’s start with the biggest offender, the Wizard of Oz, who will be giving us an impressive 9 films (so far) in the next 2 years.
Oz, the Great and Powerful
This is a prequel of sorts from Disney, with James Franco signed on to play the Wizard in his pre-Oz days in a traveling circus and subsequent entrance to Oz. Sam Raimi is directing and Joe Roth (whose name will show up here a lot) is producing. Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, and Zach Braff also star.
The Witches of Oz
Leigh Scott (of Transmorphers fame!) directs this modern day version where famous children’s author Dorothy Gale finds out her books were based on repressed childhood memories. Sean Astin, Christopher Lloyd, Billy Boyd, and Lance Henriksen star, hopefully none of them play Dorothy! We’re in luck, because it’s this chick, Paulie Rojas
Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz
An animated Direct-to-Blu-Ray film featuring the cat and mouse team getting their Oz on.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
This is John Boorman’s CGI version that was supposed to come out a year ago.
Based on the Calibre Comics series, where Dorothy returns to Oz to find Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion have all gone evil. Pearry Teo directs, the budget is $40 million, Marjorie Jean plays someone named Scraps, and they’ve promised to yank concepts from the 1939 film (like black and white vs color) and Return to Oz.
Drew Barrymore is fresh off the success of Whip It (ha!) to direct this sequel where Dorothy’s great-great-granddaughter uses the ruby slippers (not in the original book, btw) to fight the Wicked Witch, who is somehow not dead. Zach Helm writes.
Dorothy of Oz
Another animated film supposed to drop in 2012.
L. Frank Baum’s the Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Another damn adaptation of the original novel (there’s 40 Oz books to choose from, people!) directed by Clayton Spinney and written by Sean Gates. The CGI and live action mix reminds me of a low-budget fan film. I can’t get the preview video to play, so here are two creepy promo images:
Wicked is a book that is a reinterpretation of the Oz series that became a hit musical that has been in talks to become a film forever. But before that happens, we’ll get a tv miniseries based solely on the novel from Salma Hayek’s production company!
There are currently 3 Snow White films worming their way through production:
The Brothers Grimm: Snow White
Directed by Tarsem Singh (The Cell, the upcoming Immortals), this entry is a “dark twist on the classic fairy tale, in which Snow White and the seven dwarfs look to reclaim their destroyed kingdom. ” Featuring Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen and Lily Collins as Snow White. Nathan Lane is also in it, and dwarf names include: Half-Pint, Teach, Renbock, Grub, and Stench.
Snow White and the Huntsman
Universal has their own Snow White, and it has Kristen Stewart fresh off of birthing a vampire baby! Besides Stewart as Snow White, Chris Hemsworth is the Huntsman, and Charlize Theron is the Evil Queen. As for the dwarfs, it’s like a whole pack of awesome with Ian McShane, Eddie Izzard, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Stephen Graham, and Ray Winstone. Joe Roth produces this as well. The dwarf names are: Caesar, Claudius, Tiberius, Constantine, Nero, Trajan, and Hadrian. Rupert Sanders will direct (his debut)
Snow and the Seven
You’ll have to wait until 2013 for the long-awaited Disney’s Snow and the Seven, the Kung Fu version of Snow White where she goes to 1800s China for some reason and 7 warriors take the place of the dwarfs. Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) is writing the newest draft, and the director attached is Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend)
Wash down your three Snow Whites with four Peter Pan films and one miniseries:
The.Never.Land has the dumbest name of the four films, and predictably they’re trying to make it a Twilight version of Peter Pan as Peter acts all creepy and Wendy sleepwalks her way through her role… John Swetnam wrote the script.
Untitled Peter Pan Project
This yet to be titled version is a “family adventure” from the producers of Wedding Crashers and some guy named Jeff Rake.
For some reason, Pan is the hottest commodity of them all, where Peter Pan and Captain Hook are brothers. Channing Tatum will play the most believable boy who never grew up you ever did see! Joe Roth makes his third appearance on this page as producer, and the writer Billy Ray.
This time Peter Pan is evil and kidnapping boys, and Captain Hook must stop him. Aaron Henry and Kirk Kjeldsen were the writers who realized there was little else to do but flip the script.
Yes, another Neverland, this one a SyFy prequel miniseries with Keira Knightley as Tinker Bell
And here are some one-shots:
Mike Newell will be directing this straight adaptation, with Jeremy Irvine and Helena Bonham Carter in negotiations. Producers are Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen.
Sort of related is the adaptation of the novel Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones. The novel’s plot involves reading Great Expectations and mirrors part of the story. Hugh Laurie stars and Andrew Adamson (director of Shrek 1&2 and Chronicles of Narnia 1&2) directs.
Dark Little Mermaid
This “dark” Little Mermaid version is also based on Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale by Carolyn Turgeon, where there is a love triangle or something. Expect this to get Twilighted the frak up like that Red Riding Hood movie did. Shana Feste will write and direct, and Tobey Maguire and Jenno Topping produce.