Seeing this poster, you have to know how excited I was. Could this be some kind of Wicked adaptation? Would we get a Disney version of the Wicked Witch of the West? I didn’t care; I was just so excited. Oz was my very first fantasy experience, and it launched a lifetime love of paranormal interests, fantasy books, comics, even horror. Anything about it gets me excited.
But then, I realized that the title didn’t mean Oz as in the land of Oz, but the wizard himself. If you doubt this, just watch the horrid trailer above. Sure, there are some fun looking creatures, a couple of witches, and other interesting tidbits—but the majority of the trailer focuses on the fake wizard who lands himself in Oz and his stupid back story. Huzzah.
We don’t need another telling of a male-centric movie. Guess what? We have plenty of them! And The Wizard of Oz is one of the very few widespread much-loved films that actually passes the Bechdel Test. If you’re going to make a whole movie about this minor character, how about we make a whole movie about Galadriel from Lord of the Rings while we’re at it? How about a whole movie based on Bo Peep or Jessie from Toy Story? It sounds funny, doesn’t it? That’s because it is—not because they’re females, but because they’re pretty much minor roles, just as the fake wizard of Oz is in the original film.
And James Franco as the wizard just seems ludicrous, too. I guess it’s actually an okay casting, since one of my least favorite actors is playing one of my least favorite minor characters. It won’t be hard to do justice here. I know I sound absolutely melancholy over this, and it’s a silly thing to be so bummed about, but here I am, still moping.
Will we see it? I sigh as I say yes, because it’s Oz, and I almost feel like I must—I love the series, the books, the adaptations, the Gregory Maguire books that much. I really can’t get enough of it. But I can’t stop wishing that the film would be about one of the powerful witches of oz instead—or anyone else, really, other than the fake wizard. Hell, I would rather see a movie about Toto going to the groomer and biting Miss Gulch seventeen times than see James Franco commandeer an air balloon.