For those keeping score, this is the fifth television adaptation of Frank L. Baum's 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' sold in the past three months. 2014 television shall be The Year of Oz.
Lifetime has put into development 'Red Brick Road,' from the Wolper Organization, Vertigo Entertainment and Warner Horizon. If you're wondering what sort of tone the story of 'Red Brick Road' will have--whether or not it will mesh with the family-friendly atmosphere of the classic 1939 feature film, for instance--let me tell you that 'Red Brick Road' is being written by 'Dexter' scribe Tim Schlattman. So... from 'Dexter' to Oz. Seems quite a journey.
Artist Rob Prior developed the concept for 'Red Brick Road' prior to the hire of Schlattman and that concept is described as a dark, gritty story of Oz in the vein of 'Game of Thrones.' The series is going to be edgy, as the word "edgy" is repeated in every bit of material posted about 'Red Brick Road' in the trades. As you see in the screenshot from 'Wizard of Oz' above, Dorothy and little Toto followed the famous yellow brick road to find the Wizard... but there is that red brick road swirled into the center, offering a very different path with a very different destination...
As said in Lifetime's release for the project, the red bricks have "been there the whole time in plain sight. Unnoticed. Unexplored. Which raises the question — just where do they go? 'Red Brick Road' will answer that by following Dorothy down that fateful path, taking her to the oldest, darkest and most dangerous parts of Oz to find what became of her friends who all have gone missing."
'Red Brick Road' joins an array of other Oz projects, including 'Dorothy Must Die' over at The CW. 'Dorothy Must Die' is about the Land of Oz eighty years after Dorothy supposedly left... only in this version, she decided to stay. And while sticking around and waiting out the decades, Dorothy becomes a vicious, fascist despot. Dorothy Gale has remained youthful due to magic and rules the Land of Oz with an iron fist, along with her loyal henchmen the Tin Man, the Lion and the Scarecrow. But when another young woman from Kansas is swept up in a tornado and magically dropped into this war-torn Oz, our hero discovers a revolutionary underground of witches and enchanted beings only to learn that she is destined to lead their people in the fight to reclaim Oz from a power-hungry Dorothy’s ruthless clutches.
Matthew Arnold's 'Emerald City' was sold over at NBC and is described as... a dark, edgy take on the Land of Oz in the vein of 'Game of Thrones.' Hmm...
Syfy is developing 'Warriors of Oz,' where a present day hero will travel to a futuristic version of Oz where he or she will team up with warriors: Brainless, Heartless, and Coward.
Finally, CBS is developing a medical drama called 'Dorothy' which will both be a modern-day hospital soap set in New York City... and an adaptation of 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.' Details as to just how both of these things can be true remain sketchy at the moment, so we're going to have to use our imaginations.
Which of the five projects sounds like the most promising take, to you?