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Unlike previous adaptations, the upcoming show is set to focus on unexplored aspects of Baum’s creations. In particular, the plot revolves around the return of a witch (surprise! surprise!), who arrives from a long exile, bringing war and unease with her. Oz’s only hope rests on the shoulders of a servant girl “who may become the most powerful and dangerous woman in the land,” reads the description in the report.
In addition to writing the show based on Baum’s series of novels (which inspired the 1939 classic MGM musical), Ricourt will also serve as producer. His other credits include Wayward Pines, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, and Jordan Peele’s reboot of The Twilight Zone.
No director is attached yet, but a deal is reportedly close at hand.
Over the years, a number of shows have been based on Baum’s books like Emerald City, Tin Man, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the last one being an '80s-era anime from Japan.
Another onscreen project to be set in Oz is Universal's film adaptation of Broadway's Wicked, an origin story about the Wicked Witch of the West (real name: Elphaba) before and during the events of The Wizard of Oz. The movie version of the Tony-winning musical (based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel of the same name) is being directed by Stephen Daldry (The Hours) and will open in theaters on Dec. 22, 2021.
This is the perfect time for Hollywood to dig back into Baum's universe, as a study recently found that The Wizard of Oz is the most influential movie in history — above Star Wars, even. In other words: Auntie M! We're comin' home!