The story of a young girl who gets swept into the magical Land of Oz all started with a book.
“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, published in 1900, was the first book of a children’s series. The book tells of a farm girl named Dorothy, who finds herself caught in a cyclone that catches her and her dog, Toto.
From the release of the book to now, there have been dozens of projects, including movies, short films and plays, created based on the original characters and storyline.
Once Dorothy learns she’s “not in Kansas anymore” but rather, in the magical Land of Oz, she and Toto’s only hope lies in a visit to the Wizard of Oz in the Emerald City. On her journey along the yellow brick road, she stumbles across many unlikely friends, who are also wishing for various things.
While the first story of Oz is a timeless classic from over a century ago, the storyline has incited buzz once again following a new adaptation of the film, “Wicked.” The fantasy is set to be released in late November.
During Super Bowl LVIII, fans tuned into the first look at the movie trailer starring Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo.
With respect to the unique film renditions, these are the remakes of the classic story.
‘The Wizard of Oz,’ 1939
The 1939 movie starring Judy Garland as Dorothy is the most popular of the bunch.
The movie follows the book pretty closely, with various changes incorporated. For example, the magic slippers Dorothy wears are silver in the book but ruby red in the movie.
As laid out in the book, Dorothy and her faithful pup, Toto, must travel down the yellow brick road to reach the Emerald City, meet with the Wizard of Oz and wish for home. During her travels, she makes friends who also have wishes for the wizard.
Dorothy meets the Scarecrow, who wants brains, the Tin Woodman, who longs for a heart, and the Cowardly Lion, who wishes for courage.
This movie is packed with memorable songs, including “Over the Rainbow,” sung by Garland herself. Other catchy tunes in the movie include “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard.”
‘The Wiz’ 1978
“The Wiz” film released in 1978 and is based off the musical of the same name.
This movie technically follows the same plot as the 1939 film, although there are changes noticeable to audiences. In this adaptation, Dorothy is an older high school teacher and is sent to Oz after being caught in a snowstorm.
“The Wiz” features a star-studded African-American cast, including Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as Scarecrow.
‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ 2013
While some movies tell their own version of a well-known story, others take a prequel approach.
“Oz the Great and Powerful” focuses on the story of the wizard’s rise to power.
In this spin-off, James Franco plays Oscar “Oz” Diggs, a magician who finds himself in the land of Oz while riding a hot air balloon during a tornado.
While this film follows the wizard, the stories of the three witches are also intertwined. “That ‘70s Show” actress Mila Kunis plays Theodora, “The Mummy” actress Rachel Weisz plays Evanora and “Dawson’s Creek” actress Michelle Williams stars as Glinda.
‘Wicked,’ 2024, 2025
“Wicked” tells the most well-known story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda, the Good Witch.
The story of Elphaba and Glinda originally surfaced on Broadway, where Idina Menzel played the Wicked Witch and Kristin Chenoweth played the Good Witch.
This stage adaptation is based on the book by Gregory Maguire. It began as a classic Broadway production to a beloved tour across the globe.
Fans of the play have long awaited a movie version of the fantasy about the misunderstood Wicked Witch.
Since the movie was first announced in 2016, there haven’t been many details released about the film. In November 2021, it was announced that Erivo would be playing Elphaba and Grande would play Glinda.
In early November 2021, Grande posted on Instagram revealing her excitement about her casting and wrote, “thank goodness.” Erivo commented on the post, “I love you!! Let’s do this!!” Since then, the Grammy award winner has posted few times in anticipation of the film.
During Super Bowl LVIII, the first trailer for “Wicked” was aired. It featured scenes with Erivo, Grande and other supporting actors including Jonathan Bailey, Michelle Yeoh and Jeff Goldblum for the first time.
In the new movie, fans can expect to hear classics from the musical, like a powerful performance of “Defying Gravity,” interwoven with new songs specific to the movie.
The movie will be released in two parts. The first part will hit theaters on Nov. 27, 2024, and the second on Nov. 26, 2025.