Deadline reports that New Line Cinema has hired Watchmen director Nicole Kassell to direct a new Wizard of Oz project based on the Frank L. Baum American fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Kassell recently worked on the HBO series Watchmen where she directed three episodes of the limited series including it’s powerful pilot that explored the real-life Tusla race massacre.
The novel published in 1900 is in the public domain which would explain why Disney was able to make the super scary Return To Oz and Sam Raimi’s prequel Oz, The Great & Powerful. However, since the 1939 is owned by Warner Bros., elements they invented for the film were their intellectual property such as the ruby slippers (silver in the book).
They also note that previous screenplay drafts were written by Darren Lemke and the duo of Neil Widener and Gavin James.
It’s kind of nuts that New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. had been sitting a potential franchise that could be on par with Harry Potter/Narnia as Frank L. Baum wrote fourteen books for source material and has always been a build-in franchise waiting to be made. There is a treasure trove of characters New Line Cinema can explore.