RAM star’s Wizard of Oz prequel is hoping to start filming next year, with an eye on casting a few movie and television stars.
RAMstar studios and film producer BJ Plott are off and running on their plans for a prequel to the Wizard of Oz. Based off a 1991 book “How the Wizard Came to Oz” by Donald Abbott, this film of the same name follows the backstory of Oscar Diggs, exploring his early life on through his introduction to the world of Oz.
Plott first attempted to create a movie based off the book after first reading it in 2008. But there was quite a large roadblock along the way. “I approached (Abbott) and he agreed to let me make it into a film,” Plott said. “But then Disney came out with their version, which stole things from Donald’s book.”
Forced to wait through Disney’s production, Abbott and Plott are now set to move forward with their film less than four years after Oz the Great and Powerful hit screens. The similarities of Abbott’s book and Disney’s movie aside—and there are some glaring ones—Plott promises this will be a “different story than Disney’s version.”
RAMstar is looking to go into greater detail on the showman’s upbringing and the decisions that led him to the place somewhere over the rainbow. “It takes you on a journey from the Wizard’s childhood,” Plott said, “through all the challenges he faces along the way to becoming the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz. This story brings insight into where all the characters in Oz originated.”
It’s the kind of in-depth background that leaves open the possibility of spreading out such a franchise to multiple films depending on the first’s successes. Abbott has been an avid creator of all things Oz, having written several books and illustrations for Emerald City Press.
RAMstar has high aspirations on who they want start this franchise with, having spoken to representatives for such actresses as Amy Adams and Margot Robbie (as the good and wicked witches respectively), and are in pursuit of trying to sign Nathan Fillion as the wizard himself.
“There are a lot of actors that would best suit the role. But for me, I feel Nathan is the best choice. I love his show Castle. That character is similar to the wizard.”
Also, to better match the content of Abbott’s book and to expand its audience, Plott and RAMstar have decided to go with a PG-13 rating. With that said, they’re clearly going for a darker version of Oz within its mystical nature. “As for being dark, we’re thinking something similar to Harry Potter or the Gotham TV show,” Plott pinpointed.
With the vision in-place, and a script written by Abbott himself, Plott expects production to fire up next year, with a release planned for late 2018.
For more information on the project, you can find RAMstar on Facebook, and we’ll continue to update you on the movie here on FlickSided.