That’s right, Kenya Barris’ sophomore feature will be an adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz.” It’s quite the leap for a filmmaker who been focused on telling personal, satirical stories rooted in our present world. But that’s part of the reason why Barris was so drawn to the opportunity. It presented a chance for him to bring his own style to a tale with so much history:
“That’s the perfect story for the way I like to tell them. It turns the camera on the world, and it’s a musical. […] The thing is, how do you make that contemporary and make it about the world today? That’s the fun part. It’s going really well, but I’m nervous because you want to do a good job. I’m really enjoying it, though.”
Details about Barris’ “Oz” re-imagining are more or less under wraps, but the multi-hyphenate spoke to Variety about his plans to modernize Victor Fleming’s classic 1939 film musical (itself based on L. Frank Baum’s original 1900 novel, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”):
“The original was an allegory and a reflection of the way the world was at the time with things like the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Now we’re going to turn a mirror on where we’re at right now and take disparate characters from the LGBTQ community, from different cultural communities and socioeconomic communities, and tell a story that reflects the world. I think this is the best time to do that.”
Kenya Barris’ “The Wizard of Oz” has yet to receive an official release date.