There's something extremely repelling about the idea of a classic being remade, be it Mary Poppins, or The Wizard Of Oz. In India, most 90s kids witnessed a phase on their television when Cartoon Network would end after 9 pm, and TNT would begin. It would screen all kinds of Hollywood classical films, such as The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, My Fair Lady, The Sound Of Music, films of Alfred Hitchcock to name a popular few.
Cartoon Network would literally wrap up, and give parents a chance to tell their children it's bedtime, and now it's their turn to watch the television while they are tucked in bed. The Wizard of Oz had been one such film, where children begged their parents to stay awake on a school night only to watch Judy Garland sing 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' and enjoy watching her reach the land of Oz, in her Ruby shoes on the bright yellow brick road. This was an era when a lot of families couldn't afford DVD sets or CD players, hence they compensated with what came on television. For these many reasons, the 1939 film, holds a special place in American cinema.
A remake of a classic
Recently a report on Associated Press stated that Nicole Kassel of Watchmen fame is set to direct Frank Baum's children's novel. But Kassell's version will not be a musical, but a fresh take and a reimagining of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
"While 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 have a newly minted yellow brick road!," said Kassell as reported by Associated Press.
The concept of Oz and Dorothy, have been adapted in various forms, but the very thought that a new remake would not contain songs such as 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow', 'Follow The Yellow Brick Road,' leaves a visceral effect, a feeling which one had when the new version of Lion King (2019) did not have the song, 'Hakuna Matata' or the famous dialogue, 'I'm surrounded by idiots.'
Even the biopic of Judy Garland named after the actress's first name began on the sets of The Wizard of Oz. The title of the film had been bejeweled in sparkling ruby as an ode to her famous Ruby shoes. Detaching music from The Wizard of Oz is like plucking out the ruby from Dorothy's shoes...picture that and see if you can sleep peacefully.