Mike Johnson is an animator, the co-director of Corpse Bride and an Oscar nominee. For his next trick, he’ll be treading on the sacred ground of Oz in a way that none of the other twenty-nine directors of forthcoming Oz-based movies are attempting. He’s taking the characters into stop-motion territory with Oz Wars.
This couldn’t be a better idea if it came with free gold bricks. Johnson has a short but focused resume, and the thought to take these beloved characters into a medium they’ve never been before is inspired.
According to Variety, Vanguard Films is taking the task here, and they’ve already used the words “dark,” “sexy,” and “dangerous” to talk about the project. That’s cause for some concern (especially the sexy part), but the original 1939 film was always a bit dark and dangerous, so there’s nothing wrong with that. Now, if they could somehow get Henry Selick involved in some capacity, the excitement here would really go up to 11. As it stands now though, it’s pretty damned cool.