Robert Downey Jr. is a popular choice for "Wizard of Oz"-related movies right now. He first showed up on Disney's list earlier this year for their prequel "Oz, The Great and Powerful," but Warner Bros. reportedly wants him as well for a Robert Zemeckis-helmed remake of MGM's 1939 musical classic. What's even more interesting, however, is that they want to use MGM's original screenplay as the basis for the film.
Zemeckis is still in early discussions with Disney, according to a Deadline report. Warner already owns the 1939 screenplay, which they purchased from Ted Turner, who originally bought it as part of a larger MGM library acquisition.
Warner's timing puts them in direct competition with Disney's Sam Raimi Oz film, at least as far as RDJ goes. The "Iron Man" and "Sherlock Holmes" star could of course pass on both of them, but it's an interesting place to be having two major studios targeting you for movies based on the same series of L. Frank Baum books. Downey's a hot commodity in Hollywood today, though, so it's entirely possible that neither of them could come out on top.
Leveraging the original script will be an innovative approach to this remake. Retooled masterpieces like "The Manchurian Candidate" and "King Kong" borrowed copious amounts of source material from their namesakes, but retrofitting an existing screenplay with a new director, set and cast could be a gamble. The prospect of getting RDJ to sing and dance his way through a whole film and in the process leave Warner with a marketable soundtrack might be too tempting to pass up, though.
Do you think sticking with the original "Wizard of Oz" script will prove to be a good decision? Is remaking the film in good taste? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!