I don’t know why I’m even surprised by this.
Oz the Great and Powerful comes out in theaters today, but Disney’s already hired Mitchell Kapner, who co-wrote the first film, to write a sequel. Man, I sure hope a bad script doesn’t keep Oz from earning a ton of money.
Oh, who are we kidding? Good script, bad script. It’ll make tons either way. Enough to warrant a sequel at any rate. Unlike with recent fantasy flop Jack the Giant Slayer, Oz the Great and Powerful‘s studio seems to know how to market it.
Before anyone jumps in to say “But there’s already a sequel—The Wizard of Oz!”… look, if Oz the Great and Powerful does well financially (and it’s expected to—$80 million on opening weekend is the prediction), of course Disney’s going to want to cash in on that with another trip to their version of Oz, which is (legally) distinct from the Judy Garland version even if Disney is totally piggybacking on the classic film’s appeal. Variety points out that Disney isn’t allowed to “use any of the iconic creative additions from the original film — Dorothy’s ruby slippers, for example.”
And then there’s the fact that the classic Oz is good and Disney’s Oz looks… not. So if Disney wants to do a sequel, fine, whatever. I don’t have to see it. The Wizard of Oz is still great.
(Disney could, if they wanted to, use material from L. Frank Baum‘s original Oz books, since they’re in the public domain. For an excellent essay on how Disney’s Oz differs from Baum’s books, notably in how female characters are treated, check out Elisabeth Rappe‘s Why ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Is A Major Step Back For Witches and Women.)
Sorry if this all came off a bit bitter. I remembered during the course of writing this that Disney’s also doing a sequel to Tim Burton‘s Alice and Wonderland, and all my goodwill for the studio just kind of evaporated.