Wizard of Oz remake will be unapologetically queer, director Kenya Barris promises

The director of the Wizard of Oz remake is promising to feature representation of LGBTQ+ and other cultural communities in the film.

A picture of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz original 1939 film

Director Kenya Barris is promising to heavily feature representation from the LGBTQ+ community in their upcoming Wizard of Oz remake. As of now, there are no details for the release of the highly anticipated film though the Black-ish writer is promising to make this a “modern reimagining” of the original 1939 film.

Barris talked about his plans for the film, saying: “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.”

With regard to casting, Barris isn’t revealing too much just yet, though he promises to go in a very different direction from what he thinks is expected. He shared, “I know people feel like they know what we’re going to do, so I want to do something totally different. Not different for the sake of being different, but for really telling the story in a new, different way.”

He also admitted that the possible actors in mind to play the timeless roles were “no one that you would think”.

The director has also expressed how he is nervous to take on the project. This remake will be adding to a long list of previous adaptations of the timeless classic. In an interview with Variety magazine, Barris said that he hopes his version of the story “can last as long as the original does”.

This announcement of The Wizard of Oz remake is, unsurprisingly, generating big excitement in the queer community. The film has been adored by LGBTQ+ people since its release in 1939, propelling Judy Garland to her status as a queer icon. Die-hard fans are adamant that the film itself is queer-coded, with some theories saying the character of the Wizard symbolises gay life. Whether the new version will be more upfront with queer themes remains to be seen.

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