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New Escapist Column! On The Spell “Wicked” Cast On a Generation of Disney Princesses…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With news that Jon M. Chu will be directing Universal’s upcoming adaptation of Wicked, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the show’s impressive, if incomplete, legacy.

Although Wicked has not been directly adapted for the screen yet, it casts a long shadow. An entire generation of Disney feature films have taken their cues from Wicked, at least superficially – it is a vital part of the conversation around live action films like Oz the Great and Powerful and Maleficent, an obvious point of comparison for Frozen. However, it is interesting that despite the superficial similarities these projects all share with Wicked – a revisionist villain-centric take on a classic property – none of them have been as bold or as radical as Wicked.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Non-Review Review: Oz – The Great & Powerful

Oz: The Great & Powerful is a fabulous production. A few minor misgivings aside, it looks and sounds fantastic. Sam Raimi has done the best job bringing Oz to the screen since the original version of The Wizard of Oz all those decades ago. In its best moments, there’s an enthusiasm and a lightness of touch that fits the material perfectly and captures the wonder that we associate with Oz. It’s very clear that a lot of love and care was put into the production design of the film, and that Sam Raimi’s hand moved with the utmost consideration and affection for the original film. It makes it a little disappointing, then, that the script to Oz: The Great & Powerful should feel so undercooked, more like an early draft than a finished screenplay.

Up in the air or down to earth?

Up in the air or down to earth?

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The Great and Powerful Downey…

Remember how I mocked the idea of remaking The Wizard of Oz? I may take it back. The rumour is that Oz The Great and Powerful has entered production, a sort of prologue to the book and movie, based on the cult book Brick. It is basically an origin story for the Wizard himself. And rumour has it that Robert Downey Jnr. may be starring, with Sam Mendes directing. I’m waiting for more to get really excited (as, with Iron Man 2 coming out, this is the silly season for Robert Downey Jnr. related stories – we’ll see him linked to everything over the next two weeks), but this is certainly interesting.

I'd be off to see the wizard...