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Kenya Barris To Write and Direct Wizard Of Oz Remake

Kenya Barris is attached to write and direct the Wizard of Oz remake for Warner Bros.

Kenya Barris is attached to write and direct the Wizard of Oz remake for Warner Bros.

While we all know the original 1939 movie, details on the new version are being left under wraps. The Wizard of Oz remake is said to be a modern reimagining of the iconic musical.

To give you a refresher, original film is an adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s fantasy novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It centers on a Young Dorothy Gale (played by Judy Garland) and her dog Toto who are swept away by a tornado from their Kansas farm to the magical Land of Oz, and embark on a quest with three new friends to see the Wizard, who can return her to her home and fulfill the others’ wishes.

The film was also adapted into The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical which was a black retelling of L. Frank Baum’s same children’s novel. It was at first a Broadway musical that opened on October 21, 1974, at the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, and moved to Broadway’s Majestic Theatre with a new cast on January 5, 1975.

The 1975 Broadway production won seven Tony Awards and was adapted into a big-budget film of the same name in 1978.

Barris who closed the deal on this project last week is also producing via his Khalabo Ink Society production company with Sheila Walcott is overseeing for the studio.

Via Deadline:

Deal comes as the Black-ish creator is in post-production on his feature directorial debut, You People. Barris and Jonah Hill wrote the original comedy together, with a slamming cast that includes Hill, Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Lauren London, Nia Long and David Duchovny, among others. Along with directing and producing, Barris also co-wrote the script alongside Jonah Hill.

Next month, Barris will launch Entergalatic, a television event that he co-created with Kid Cudi. A first-of-its-kind, the project is inspired by the Grammy winner’s upcoming album of the same name and combines adult animation, music, fashion and art to tell a story about modern Black love in New York City.

Barris has been leaning more into features including Girls Trip and Coming 2 America. Upcoming is a remake of the sports comedy White Men Can’t Jump; a feature film about comedic icon Richard Pryor that Barris is writing to direct and produce; an animated movie inspired by the songs and music of Bob Marley; and a feature-length musical about Juneteenth that he has teamed with Pharrell Williams to produce. Barris has also expanded into podcasts and music (with the launch of his Khalabo Music label last year), as well as studio ownership with BET Studios. He is a principal partner of BET Studios.

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