Hollywood loves a good anniversary, so it's no surprise that there are a number of Wizard of Oz-themed projects in the works, what with the approaching 75th anniversary of the feature adaptation of L. Frank Baum's novel. That includes a return to theaters for the film (in IMAX 3D) next month, and a number of TV projects, including the latest to go into development, based on an upcoming young adult novel called Dorothy Must Die, which is being adapted by Heroes' Tim Kring. It sounds like it's set up as a distant sequel to the original story, except in this version of the story, Dorothy returned to Oz and became a power-hungry dictator.
Deadline says Kring is teaming with Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster to develop Dorothy Must Die for The CW, based on Danielle Paige's upcoming novel, which hits shelves next April (2014). As mentioned, in this story, Dorothy returned to Oz and went on to preside over the "now fascist fairyland with her perfectly manicured iron fist. The scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion are at her side, serving as her henchmen. The story picks up in the present day, and centers on a young woman who finds herself whisked away from Kansas and dropped in Oz where she discovers "a revolutionary underground of witches and enchanted beings." She comes to discover that she's destined to lead the people to reclaim Oz from Dorothy's ruthless clutches.
I'm wondering if author Danielle Paige is a fan of Wicked, either the musical or Gregory Maguire's book, as there's a similar tone to the story in the way it turns Dorothy into the antagonist. Any chance the Wicked Witch of the West will be revived for this story, perhaps underground among the mentioned witches hiding out with her flying monkeys. Regardless, as Deadline points out, this is one of numerous Wizard of Oz-themed programs in the works. NBC has Emerald City (a Game of Thrones-like dark reimagining of The Wizard of Oz), while CBS has an Oz-inspired medical soap in the works. And Syfy has the miniseries Warriors of Oz. Assuming all of these make it to screen, we may be over-saturated with Oz dramas as it is. Still, Dorothy Must Die sounds fun and a bit out-of-the-box, which is pretty much where Tim Kring lives.
While the book Dorothy Must Die doesn't arrive until April 1, Paige will be setting the scene with No Place Like Oz: A Dorothy Must Die Prequel Novella. Deadline says it's available now, but Amazon has it for preorder with the date listed as November 12. GoodReads lists the same date, and includes a description, which indicates that the prequel tells the story of how Dorothy got back to Oz, and possibly how she took over.
Here's the prequel novella's description:
After returning to Kansas, Dorothy Gale has realized that the dreary fields of Kansas don’t compare to the vibrant landscapes of Oz. And although she’s happy to be reunited with Aunt Em, she misses her friends from the yellow brick road. But most of all, Dorothy misses the fame and the adventure. In Kansas she’s just another prairie girl, but in Oz she was a hero. So Dorothy is willing to do anything to get back, because there really is no place like Oz. But returning to the land she left comes at a price, and after Dorothy is through with it, Oz will never be the same.