More than 70 years after the original Wizard of Oz dazzled audiences, Oz is hot again: First came reports that Iron Man's Robert Downey Jr. was up for the title role in the prequel Oz the Great and Powerful. Now comes news that Drew Barrymore will direct a different sequel, Surrender Dorothy, resurrecting that project from development hell.
And that's not even counting a couple of other simmering Oz-themed movies.
The news about Barrymore, who directed Whip It, broke on Pajiba:
The project was first announced in 2002. It was based on a Zach Helm script (Stranger Than Fiction) and had Drew Barrymore attached to star. She is now attached to direct, as a follow-up to her directorial debut, Whip It.
The original project seemingly stalled back in the early aughts. In fact, I can't even find a mention of it since October 2002, but with the proliferation of Oz projects in development, there's no time like now to resurrect an old idea.
The movie would center on the great-great-granddaughter of Dorothy, who has to learn to use the ruby slippers to keep the Wicked Witch of the West from taking over Earth and Oz. Barrymore was once going to play the heroine, but that's not clear now.
As for Oz the Great and Powerful, Downey has been coy about whether he'll do the movie, which is to be directed by Sam Mendes. It is a prequel to the 1939 The Wizard of Oz, based around a script by Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After).