Saturday, September 20, 2014

New Line producing film about Oz writer

L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, will be the subject of a feature film optioned by New Line Cinema, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The book, which had 13 sequels written by Baum and many others by other writers, inspired numerous stage productions and early films before the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland, which was the first film inducted into the Cosmique Movie Awards' Best Films of All Time Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame.

Baum's Oz tales have stood the test of time, with the 1939 film now a classic, perennially playing on screens and remaining a solid merchandising performer. Wicked, based on the story, is one of the Broadway's biggest hits. And Disney proved that the Oz world still works on the big screen with the 2013 film Oz the Great and Powerful. Starring James Franco and Mila Kunis, the prequel was a box office smash, earning $493.3 million worldwide and having the 10th highest domestic box office gross of the year.
Movies about authors and the stories behind their most famous works tend to attract high-class talent. Finding Neverland saw Johnny Depp as J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, and scored six Oscar nominations. Last year's Saving Mr. Banks was also awards bait with a cast that included Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell and Paul Giamatti.

Oz the Great and Powerful received six nominations at the 2013 Cosmo Awards.

The biopic is based on the script Road to Oz by Josh Golden. New Line is still choosing a director to attach to the project.

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