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Exclusive: Drew Barrymore to Direct an Oz Sequel

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | May 18, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | May 18, 2010 |

The $300 million success of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland has seemingly set the stage for the re-imagining phase in Hollywood, which has got to be better than the reboot, sequel, reborquel phase. It was announced over on Deadline yesterday that Disney had paid a princely sum (ha!) for Alina Brosh McKenna’s (The Devil Wears Prada) pitch for a live-action re-imagining of Cinderella. It’s not exactly the first live-action re-imagining of Cinderella in recent years — Ever After and A Cinderella Story also fall into that category — but I suspect that this one will be even more faithful to the original, though deviations are expected. And probably 3D, too. Because 3D is just so necessary for this kind of story.

Also, we’ve learned exclusively that Surrender Dorothy, yet another Wizard of Oz sequel, has been resurrected. The project was first announced in 2002. It was based on a Zach Helm script (Stranger Than Fiction) and had Drew Barrymore attached to star. She is now attached to direct, as a follow-up to her directorial debut, Whip It.

The original project seemingly stalled back in the early aughts. In fact, I can’t even find a mention of it since October 2002, but with the proliferation of Oz projects in development, there’s no time like now to resurrect an old idea. The project is still set up at Warner Brothers and Flower Films (Barrymore’s production company), though I have no word on whether she’s still planning to star as the great, great granddaughter of Dorothy who has to learn how to use the power of those ruby red slippers to keep the Wicked Witch of the West from taking control of the kingdoms of Earth and Oz. (That story doesn’t sound too dissimilar to Josh Olson’s version, which is also in development, along with a prequel that focuses on the Wizard, to which Robert Downey, Jr. is attached).

It’s wishful thinking, perhaps, but given Barrymore’s relationship with Ellen Page now, it might be cool to see her star as the lead in this sequel, as Page is closer in age to Barrymore when she was first offered the part. Also, I like thinking of Ellen Page as Drew Barrymore’s muse. And by muse, of course I mean: Make-out partner.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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