entertainment

Kenya Barris says his Wizard of Oz remake will be LGBTQ-inclusive

Dorothy is about to get a lot more friends.

2022-09-27

Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Wiki Commons

The Wizard of Oz is about to get a whole lot more queer. 

The Black-ish creator Kenya Barris is writing and directing a modern reimagining of the classic story and is planning to include much more LGBTQ+ representation.

 
 
 
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“The original was an allegory and a reflection of the way the world was at the time with things like the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl,” Barris tells Variety

He continued: “Now we’re going to turn a mirror on where we’re at right now and take disparate characters from the LGBTQ community, from different cultural communities and socioeconomic communities, and tell a story that reflects the world. I think this is the best time to do that.”

The 48-year-old's Oz tale is set to be a looser adaptation of author Lyman Frank Baum’s 1900 illustrated fairy tale.

The original film starring Judy Garland has already become iconic with the queer community. 

“I’m nervous,” Barris admits about adapting the enormously popular story. "Hopefully, my movie can last as long as the original does."

Baum’s American story has already been adapted countless times including the 1978 The Wiz led by Michael Jackson and Diana Ross, an adaption of the Broadway musical that sees an all-Black cast reimagine Oz as contemporary New York.

Additionally, another Wizard of Oz remake is also in the works at New Line Cinema with Watchmen's Nicole Kassell directing.

"While the 1939 musical is part of my DNA, I am exhilarated and humbled by the responsibility of re-imagining such a legendary tale," Kassell said at the announcement of her project.

"The opportunity to examine the original themes —the quest for courage, love, wisdom and home — feels more timely and urgent than ever."

The Attitude September/October issue is out now.