Dorothy 2.0: Ripley goes to Oz


Toy maker Todd McFarlane and filmmaker Josh Olson just announced that they are undertaking a new version of The Wizard of Oz (not to be confused with the Sci Fi Channel’s Tin Man). Although Wicked has earned quite a reputation, neither Diana Ross nor the Muppets could save previous Oz Redux attempts, so my initial reaction to this was skepticism.

Reading on, I wavered between intrigued (Oz as “dark, edgy and muscular”), relieved (Dorothy will not be “some bondage queen,” a la McFarlane’s disturbing dolls) and bored (the film will aim to capture Lord of the Rings fans). Then I got to the description of Dorothy as less “helpless singing girl” and more Ellen Ripley.

That’s right: Dorothy 2.0. Better, faster, and able to take you out. No more wavering for me — if Ripley is going to Oz, I am going, too.

Perhaps I’m being overly optimistic, since McFarlane’s dolls offend me and I was not impressed by Olson’s A History of Violence, but I’m curious to see how this turns out. Even with its saccharine taste and old-school effects, the original scared me as a kid, and there have always been rumblings about the story’s political underpinnings. Now we’ve got new technology and a political landscape rife with humbuggery to allegorize.

We just need to get some good women involved in this to make sure that Dorothy remains (or becomes?) a feminist hero. How about the lately ubiquitous Glenn Close as the Wicked Witch (whose Marquise de Merteuil earned a spot on the best villains list to rival Ripley’s topping of the outer-space list) —

— and Emma Thompson as Glinda? After all, she’s already got the dress.

As for action-hero Dorothy herself, I have no idea where to begin. Any suggestions?

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