McFarlanes and Oz Update
After all the recent speculation and rumours about the upcoming Oz movie to be directed by Todd McFarlane, IGN Comics spoke to the man himself.
So here is an extract from that interview that gives a little bit more information on the whole concept and what we can hope to expect.
Being a big fan of the Twisted Land of Oz figures I am eagerly awaiting this one and the more I hear about it the more I like that sound of hit.
Hopefully with the likes of Todd and Josh Olsen working on the project we will see a whole new take on this classic L Frank Baun’s novel rather than a remake.
I’ve often wondered whether this figures were based on a specific story line at the time but according to Todd…
“Actually the toys came first, and they sold really well for us. Someone in Hollywood saw them. They phoned and said, "Hey Todd, you have a pitch that you could come out here with?" And of course I went, "… Yyyesss… Yes I do…" So they said, "Oh good! Could you come in next week?" So you know sometimes you come up with your best stuff with a gun to your head. I had a week and pitched some ideas back and forth with some of the people in the office, and came up with this huge, massive Lord of the Rings epic. It actually got fairly tight and succinct.
We actually went in there and for a while had Michael Bay going around with me pitching it. We had props, visuals, toys, storyboards, posters… I made little models of the city. I think it overwhelmed them. They said that they needed 20 minutes for a pitch and I was like, "I need at least an hour and fifteen. I'm going to act out this whole movie and show you the whole thing because this movie is going to cost at least $140 million to make. I don't want you to not know what you're buying." Anyway, it took a little longer than I would have liked, but eventually someone at Warner Bros finally went, "It's crazy. It's crazy enough that it might be worth starting the process." So you're just beginning to push the boulder up the hill, but you have to get by that one where someone says they're buying it. Maybe it'll come out in a year and a half, maybe it'll go into development hell. I've seen both versions."
Probably the most popular and talked about figure from this series is the bondage Dorothy figure which some think will be a bit odd or “unsuitable” for the movie. Again, personally I would like to see this stay.
When asked about his thoughts on this matter Todd replied
"You know, from my perspective, yes. But you know, at some point you have to be a realist. If you're asking someone for $140 million, they're completely the client. So you get to this moment in life where… they're not making the movie exactly that I would have made, but they're making something. And you have to go is that something better than, even if you had the power to insist it your way, not making it. There are those moments where you just have to compromise a bit and go this is a collaborative effort and here's what the studio wants. It is dark and moody, but it's always been a PG-13 movie. You might not see that in the toys because the toys weren't built with that PG-13 in mind. The bondage Dorothy, in my pitch, is literally an eight second scene. Just one scene of her in that.
Again I have to get people past that image. I actually came in with the other version of her, which as I explained is more Ripley from Alien. She's very capable, but there's one moment where it gets bizarre and twisted. Will that scene ever appear? I don't know. I'll let everyone call that shot at the end. There's a lot of money on the table and they have to get what they want, but that said, we've seen a marked movement in films with The Grudge, The Ring and The Lord of the Rings. Those are PG-13 movies, but to me they're right up against that R edge in terms of tonality. So you can still do dark and do PG-13. In three years, if we ever make it, whoever's in charge at that point will have much more control than I will. I'll be there as a producer and have my input, but I'll just cross my fingers.
Twisted Land of Oz 12" Dorothy Figure