Director Nicole Kassell will follow the Yellow Brick Road from Watchmen to the Wizard. She’s been tapped by New Line, a Warner Bros. company, to helm a fresh retelling of L. Frank Baum’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
The book, which is in the public domain, was most famously the inspiration for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, which is currently controlled by Warner Bros. So unlike previous adaptations of the work, this one can borrow iconic elements from that film, such as the ruby slippers. Elements that have become almost more iconic than the book itself.
Deadline broke the news, which comes after Kassell’s recent success directing several episodes of HBO’s Watchmen. That work — a new, impressive take on a beloved property — apparently helped her rise to the top of a competitive director search. She also directed episodes of Westworld and The Leftovers.
“I am incredibly honoured to join Temple Hill and New Line in bringing this beloved classic to the screen,” Kassell said in a statement. “While the 1939 musical is part of my DNA, I am exhilarated and humbled by the responsibility of re-imagining such a legendary tale. The opportunity to examine the original themes — the quest for courage, love, wisdom, and home — feels more timely and urgent than ever. These are profoundly iconic shoes to fill, and I am eager to dance alongside these heroes of my childhood as we pave a newly minted yellow brick road.”
Apparently The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a priority project for the studio so it seems like we’ll be hearing more about casting and such in the coming months.