John Boorman Is Off To See You-Know-Who

Deliverance director signs on to CGI Wizard of Oz flick?!
Acclaimed auteur John Boorman (Excalibur) will helm the $25 million, CG pic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, marking his first foray into animated features, according to Variety's JOHN HOPEWELL.

Currently in pre-production, this non-musical adaptation of L. Frank Baum's work is written by Boorman, with Ron Mita & Jim McClain (Robots, Swat) and retains the classic characters and settings.

Cinematical's EUGENE NOVIKOV called it "a very strange late career move" for the 75-year-old British Oscar-nominee who wrote, produced and directed such strange, adult fare as Zardoz (with Sean Connery), Exorcist II (with Richard Burton), and The Emerald Forest (with Powers Boothe).

It's hard not to be surprised that the man behind the film version of James Dickey's controversial Deliverance--starring Jon Voigt, Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty--would dive into another straight rendering of Baum's beloved children's story, animated no less!

But Novikov admitted that Boorman's 2001 film of John Le Carre's The Tailor of Panama--which starred Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush, Jamie Lee Curtis and Daniel Radcliffe--"was excellent." So, he trusts that the director "must have some sort of specific vision for this one."

Also, as this writer takes a moment to consider it, it is possible that Boorman has in fact been preparing for his trip to the Emerald City his entire career. Take, for example, the scene below, from the movie Zardoz (Zard-OZ). Doesn't Connery's threatening-but-colorful cabal of the dispossessed resemble some height-challenged denizens of a land far away?

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is slated for a summer 2010 release.
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