Warner Bros. wants to revisit the world of Oz once again, and this time, they’ve tapped Black-ish creator Kenya Barris for the project.
The new Wizard of Oz deal closed last week, with Barris set to write and direct a new version of the beloved fantasy. The film will be a fresh take on the material, although details are being kept close to the chest. All that Deadline notes is the film is described as a “modern reimagining of the iconic musical.”
Many people are familiar with the iconic 1939 film Wizard of Oz. The film is based on L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and follows Dorothy Gale as she ventures from her life in Kansas on a magical and harrowing adventure in the twisted world of Oz.
The novel, and the film, have sprung a multi-generational love for the material. There’s an official 1972 sequel, the animated Journey Back to Oz, which stars Judy Garland’s daughter Liza Minnelli. In 1985, Disney released the cult classic Return to Oz and prequel Oz The Great and Powerful in 2013, and no one can forget the popular Broadway musical Wicked, which premiered in 2003 and will see two-part film adaptation beginning in 2024.
Barris will attempt to make his own mark on the film, and many expect him to add elements of his cultural background to the project. But for those desiring a remake of the hit film The Wiz, reports say Barris is looking to stick close to the original work.
Barris is famously known for creating the hugely successful ABC series Black-ish, which ran from 2014 to 2022. The filmmaker is fresh off his directorial debut, You People, which is currently in post-production. Barris and Jonah Hill wrote the original comedy together, with an all-star cast that includes Hill, Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lauren London, Nia Long, and David Duchovny.