Oscars To Fete 75th Anniversary Of ‘Wizard Of Oz’

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 7:00am PST
Mike Fleming

wizEven though the theme of the upcoming Academy Awards is heroes, you knew that Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron weren’t going to limit this to spandex-clad superheroes and Gladiator‘s Maximus. So Zadan and Meron, best known for the … Read More »

Comments 24

R.I.P. ‘Oz’ Munchkin Ruth Robinson Duccini

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 9:39pm PST

ruthThe last surviving female Munchkin from the 1939 classic The Wizard Of Oz died Thursday at a Las Vegas hospice after a brief illness. Ruth Robinson Duccini was 95. Her death was confirmed by longtime friend Stephen Cox, author … Read More »

Comments (9)

Warner Bros Sued By Estate Of ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Star’s Heir Over Docu

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 6:16pm PDT

There’s some legal action down that Yellow Brick Road. Just in time for the upcoming 75th anniversary of The Wizard of OzWarner Bros were sued Wednesday by the estate of the Emmy winning late … Read More »

Comments (1)

Warner Bros Commits $25M To ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ 75th Anniversary Campaign

By | Wednesday August 28, 2013 @ 1:49pm PDT

The Yellow Brick Road will run through the Golden Arches. Warner Bros said today it will spend about $25 million on its comprehensive campaign for the 75th anniversary of the iconic 1939 film and that McDonald’s will lead the charge. For three weeks starting September 20, the fast-food behemoth will offer The Wizard Of Oz toys in Happy Meals at more than 14,000 outlets in North America. Other corporate marketing partners include QVC, which will offer Oz-themed products starting September 26, and Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, which will air an Oz competition episode two days later. Warners also added licensees for toys, games, clothes, jewelry, collectibles and much more. Warners, IMAX and TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX will host the September 15 world premiere of the 3D giant-screen version of the Judy Garland classic, which premiered at the then-Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. It screens the same day at the Toronto Film Festival. A weeklong IMAX run in more than 300 theaters in North America follows, and a five-disc Collectors Edition set streets October 1. From the release about merchandising partners: Read More »

Comments (15)

NBC Buys ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Drama From Matt Arnold As Frank Baum’s Classic Becomes The Hottest TV Property This Season

By | Friday August 23, 2013 @ 10:33am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: A century after the release of L. Frank Baum’s Wizard Of Oz series, the books have become the toast of this TV development season. NBC just nabbed Emerald City, an Oz-themed drama from Siberia creator/showrunner Matthew Arnold. Two weeks ago, CBS put in development Dorothy, a medical soap inspired by the characters and themes from The Wizard of Oz. I hear there is another Oz drama making the rounds from Heroes alums Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster, with Heroes creator Tim Kring supervising. And just last month, Syfy picked up for development a miniseries titled Warriors Of Oz from director Timur Bekmambetov, a fantasy-action reimagining of the classic story. The great interest in Wizard Of Oz is not entirely unexpected as the title has been getting a lot of attention in conjunction with the upcoming 75th anniversary of the classic 1939 feature, which will include a 3D re-release of the Judy Garland starrer. It also comes on the heels of the success of Oz The Great And Powerful earlier this year.

Related: ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Sets Fall IMAX 3D Debut

Emerald City, which Arnold is writing and executive producing through Universal Television, is described as a dark reimagining of the classic tale of Oz in the vein of Game Of Thrones, drawing upon stories from Baum’s original 14 books. Read More »

Comments (17)

CBS Developing ‘Wizard Of Oz’-Themed Medical Drama From Timberman/Beverly

By | Thursday August 8, 2013 @ 7:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The producers who brought Sherlock Holmes to New York for CBS, are doing the same with some other classic literary characters. CBS has put in development Dorothy, a drama project from Elementary executive producers Carl Beverly … Read More »

Comments 40

R.I.P. Margaret Pellegrini

By | Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 7:27pm PDT

One of the last surviving Munchkins from The Wizard Of Oz has died. Margaret Pellegrini, who as a 15-year-old played the flowerpot Munchkin (right) … Read More »

Comments (7)

‘Wizard Of Oz’ Sets Fall IMAX 3D Debut

By | Tuesday August 6, 2013 @ 10:25am PDT

The Technicolor classic will have its IMAX 3D world premiere on September 15 at Hollywood’s historic Chinese Theatre, the same movie house it first debuted in 75 years ago. The special … Read More »

Comments (18)

WB To Fete ‘Wizard Of Oz’ 75th Anniversary With IMAX 3D Release

By | Tuesday June 4, 2013 @ 10:00am PDT

The Wizard Of Oz is getting a major brand revitalization this fall. The Technicolor classic will return to screens on September 20 for an exclusive one-week IMAX 3D engagement commemorating its 75th … Read More »

Comments (15)

Ruby Slippers Are The “Holy Grail” For Academy’s Planned Museum

By | Thursday February 23, 2012 @ 1:11pm PST

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is banking on ruby-red slipper magic to rally support for its proposed Academy Museum of Motion Pictures — 70 years after the iconic shoes’ debut in The Wizard Of Oz. Dorothy’s vibrant Technicolor … Read More »

Comments (13)

Leonardo DiCaprio & Steven Spielberg Help Purchase ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Ruby Slippers For Movie Academy

Beverly Hills, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has acquired a pair of the iconic ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio led a group of “angel donors” whose gifts to the Academy Foundation enabled the purchase. In addition to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, a component fund of CCF Environmental and Humanitarian Causes, donations came from producer-director Steven Spielberg and Terry Semel, co-chair of LACMA and the former chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. and Yahoo!, along with other donors.

Read More »

Comments (13)

HAMMOND: Could Rachel Weisz Be Back In The Oscar Game?

Pete Hammond

With the recent announcement of selections for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Rachel Weisz discovered she is going to be there with two films: The Deep Blue Sea and Fernando Meirelles’ ensembler 360. But it was her acclaimed performance in another Toronto film — from the 2010 fest — that she most wanted to discuss when I recently caught up with her.

After its 2010 Toronto premiere, buzz started on awards prospects for The Whistleblower star Weisz’s intense and emotional performance. But after the fest, filmmakers went back into editing and toned down the harrowing rape scenes and further shaped the movie, which finally gets released today through the Samuel Goldwyn Company, which hopes the awards buzz will pick up again, especially if the distributor can get any box office traction in a crowded marketplace for small movies like this one.

Although it received mixed reviews after its Toronto unveiling, there was near-unanimous praise for Weisz’s portrayal of real-life Nebraska cop Kathryn Bolkovac, who took a job as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia only to uncover a web of corruption, sex trafficking and United Nations cover-ups when she arrived there in 1999. The real story turned out to be too intense to show the way it really was. “In fact the rape scene was cut down after the Toronto screening by the studio, which I completely understand,” she says. “It would be just too harrowing for people to watch. What actually happened was so much worse. I mean the stories I could tell you from the first person who encountered these young women. That was the ‘light’ version if you can believe that. But it isn’t a documentary, you don’t want to destroy people. You just want to illuminate something that actually happened that was a hundred times worse.” Read More »

Comments (8)

‘Wicked’ To Cast Movie Spell For Universal: Creators Meeting With Hollywood Directors

Mike Fleming

100.0EXCLUSIVE: The smash hit stage musical Wicked is taking its first formative steps toward the movie screen. I’m told the musical’s producer Marc Platt, book writer Winnie Holzman, and songwriter Stephen Schwartz have begun meeting with filmmakers. Insiders confirm that JJ … Read More »

Comments 674