Who’d win in a fight between Superman and Spawn? How the f*ck old is Cable? And what in the holy hell is a Megatron? When the tough questions arise, Panels on Pages will gather the facts, but it’s up to the PoP!ulation to draw its own conclusions. So come on… Riddle Me This!
Sometimes it seems there are two things Disney loves above all else: franchises and money. Especially when it’s money made from film franchises. It’s got a huge cash cow in the current crop of Marvel flicks, but I doubt that’s enough for them. John Carter didn’t live up to the box office expectations they hoped for and the Pirates of the Caribbean series seems to be limping to its finish line. So what will the House that Walt Built look to for their next franchise? Well, if Oz the Great and Powerful hits big, I fully expect them to go ahead and start looking at the Oz books for material, filtered through their own creative lens. And what better place to start than a big-budget remake of the film that many point to as being one of the best of all time, The Wizard of Oz.
I’m sure there are those out there who will balk at me even suggesting that such a thing happen. To them I say: c’mon. Are you really that naive as to believe that Disney wouldn’t do it? Of course they would. And if it’s done right, it could be great. I’m in no way saying it should supplant the original. TWoO has justifiably earned it’s place in cinematic history and the public consciousness. If Spider-Man can get rebooted a scant few years after the last film left the theater, surely enough time has passed for the same to happen in this case. In any event, it probably wouldn’t been a straight-up remake anyway, but an ever-popular “reimagining.” Heck, it might not even be a musical! It could build upon the groundwork laid by Sam Raimi in OtGaP. James Franco could return as Oz alongside whichever actress turns out to be the Wicked Witch, both in either a younger form or aged via make-up and/or CGI.
Personally though, I’d love for Disney to keep it a musical. With that in mind, I’ve already taken the liberty of casting the main roles with an eye towards both musical talent and star power. Now I’d love it if Dorothy were played by an unknown young actress, but considering it’s the House of Mouse behind the wheel, I wouldn’t count on it. No, it would probably end up being one of their in-house teenage acting/singing stars in the role. Miranda Cosgrove or Hannah Alabama or someone like that; I’m not the parent of a tween girl, so I can’t tell them apart. Let’s forget about that right now and focus on rest of the cast is. I’ll probably get some flack for choosing Will Ferrell as the Scarecrow, but hear me out. I’m not talking about the over-active Ferrell seen in his latest films. I’m specifically thinking about the wide-eyed innocence he showed as the lead in Elf. If he brought that to the table, it could really work. For the Tin Man, my heart is set on Stephen Colbert. If you’re not already aware, he’s a stage veteran who can carry a tune, even starring alongside Neil Patrick Harris in a brief revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Company. Just slather him in silver paint and he’d be good to go. You may be interested to note that when I started working on this article, my previous two casting choices were reversed. After some careful consideration, I switched them around to where they are now. I say this because while that took some thinking, my third choice took all of two seconds. Some may say it’s typecasting. I’ll just say that John C. Reilly was born to play the Cowardly Lion. You can see it already, can’t you? More than any of my other choices, I want this one to eventually happen. Speaking of typecasting, it seems a given that Amy Adams would be a perfect Glenda the Good Witch. I’d like to take it a step further, and have her play not only Glenda, but her cousin the Wicked Witch of the West as well. I think she’d really show her chops in a villainous role and bring a lot to both parts.
So that’s my take on it, PoP!ulation. Now I want to hear what you think. Should it be done? Do you dig my cast, or do you have your own suggestions as to who should star? Vote and give your opinions below. Riddle me this! Should Disney remake The Wizard of Oz?