Kenya Barris offered some new information about his upcoming Wizard of Oz film. The creator of Blackish and You People said the plot isn’t set in Kansas anymore, but instead, the updated version will move the fan-favorite film to California.
Barris said the new film will follow a young girl who lives in The Bottoms, a huge apartment complex in Inglewood, California. Barris, who is also working on a TV series biopic about Richard Pryor, confirmed the script was complete and explained his reason for changing the setting in an interview with Variety.
“The original Wizard of Oz took place during the Great Depression, and it was about self-reliance and what people were going through,” said Borris. “I think this is the perfect time to switch the characters and talk about what someone imagines their life could be.”
His Wizard of Oz takes place in The Bottoms, known for its “high levels of social deprivation and gang activity,” according to CBR. Borris also confirmed the plot will include LGBT representation.
“It’s ultimately a hero’s journey; someone thinks something’s better than where they’re at, and they go and realize that where they’re at is where they should be,” Borris told Variety. “I want people to be proud and happy about where they’re from. But I want the world to take a look at it, and I hope that will come through.”
This is one of two classic reimaginings Borris has in development. He’s also working on an updated version of It’s a Wonderful Life as part of his project to retell old classics from a different perspective. While several reboots and reimaginings have debuted in recent years, including Futurama, Fraiser, and the upcoming King of the Hill revival, not all are well-received by fans. Borris has his work cut out for him as he attempts to re-imagine two of the most enduring films in cinematic history.
The Wizard of Oz is one of the Ten Best Hollywood Films of 1939 and is closing in on its centennial celebration. The original film is also one of the 10 Greatest Golden Era Musicals. The film starred Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, and Bert Lahr. It became one of the best-known films ever, spawning sequels, spinoffs, and projects inspired by events such as Return to Oz, starring Fairuza Balk, and Journey Back to Oz, starring Liza Minnelli.
The characters have made “guest” appearances on many shows, such as the “Slumber Party” episode of Supernatural. Dorothy is still one of the longest-running popular Halloween costumes to date.
There have been multiple attempts to remake the film without success, including a sequel written by Pet Sematary: Bloodlines writer and director Lindsey Anderson Beer that’s still stuck in development, according to Dread Central.