Zemeckis to direct Wizard of Oz remake using original 1939 script

Warner Brothers Pictures reportedly wants Robert Zemeckis to direct a remake of The Wizard of Oz ... and the studio already has a script ready to go.

According to Deadline, the studio wants Zemeckis to get behind the camera for a live-action remake of the 1939 classic—using the script from the original film. Warner Brothers owns the screenplay as a result of buying Ted Turner's media company, which in turn had bought it as part of the MGM library. A total of 19 writers worked on the original script, many of them without credit, to hammer it into the beloved masterpiece we all know.

So why the rush? Well, Disney and Sam Raimi are developing a prequel called Oz the Great and Powerful, with Robert Downey Jr. attached to star, and there have been at least two other adaptations of the source novel announced in recent months. It seems like using the original script is the quickest route for Warner Brothers to get its own Oz movie out there.

Zemeckis, whose credits include Back to the Future and Contact, is in early talks with the studio, and there's no telling whether he'll take the job or not. He's currently working on a remake of his own, a new animated version of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine that is due to come out in 2012.

There have been variations on The Wizard of Oz before, of course—the musical The Wiz and Syfy's own Tin Man among them—but is filming the exact script from the original classic really the way to go?

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