Culture

Remake of 'Wizard of Oz' Will Have LGBTQ 'Representation'

(AP Photo/Warner Bros., File)

Somewhere over the Rainbow, there’s a place where bluebirds sing, troubles melt like lemon drops, and I don’t have to write another gol durned story about idiots trying to hijack a cultural icon to make a silly point about LGBTQ people being “just like us.” We’re informed by Variety that Warner Brothers has decided to remake a film that will never be equaled or duplicated and, just to annoy me and others on the right, it will feature some kind of LGBTQ “representation.”

In this case, it’s the beloved children’s book, The Wizard of Oz, that was made into one of the most delightful films in history. If you haven’t seen it, don’t watch it on your phone, your watch, or any device with a screen less than 25 inches.  For those unfamiliar with terms like “technicolor,” you should ideally watch the film in an old, art deco movie theater. Only then will you be able to appreciate the majesty and beauty of this film.

Related: Next Up on Disney’s ‘You’re a Racist if You Don’t Like This Reboot’ List…

This sacrilegious remake is being made by Kenya Barris. “The original was an allegory and a reflection of the way the world was at the time with things like the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl,” Barris told Variety. The creator of the hit TV show Blackish will write and direct the “reimagining” for Warner Bros.

“Now we’re going to turn a mirror on where we’re at right now and take disparate characters from the LGBTQ community, from different cultural communities and socioeconomic communities, and tell a story that reflects the world. I think this is the best time to do that.”

Yes, there were gay people and probably transgenders during The Great Depression and The Dust Bowl. But I don’t recall any such characters in L. Frank Baum’s books, which are based on Dorothy and the world of Oz.

So if they didn’t exist in Mr. Baum’s world, why “reimagine” them that way?

He understands a “Wizard of Oz” remake comes with tremendous pressure. “I’m nervous,” Barris tells me. “Hopefully, my movie can last as long as the original does.” He adds with a laugh: “Hopefully my movie comes out.”

We can only hope.

I don’t mind “reimaginings” of classic stories. The 1993 film Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey was every bit as emotionally charged as the original film in the 1960s. And I cried at the exact same spot.

A more recent entry in the “reimagining” contest is the 2021 remake of Dune — a fine bit of storytelling without special effects getting in the way.

But the understandable urge to “update” a classic story to reflect modern times rather than the time in which the original film was made should be resisted. It does a grave disservice to those who poured their heart and soul into the art of filmmaking to produce a masterpiece. At least be true to the spirit of the filmmaker when remaking a story.

And please, please, don’t clutter up the landscape with characters who not only weren’t part of the original story but whose presence in the film detracts from the film experience.