By Jeff Spry, Blastr.com
Fairy tale fever seems to have struck Hollywood, with all signs pointing to the hallowed green halls of the Emerald City. Oz has suddenly become the premiere destination for a battalion of producers, directors and studios stampeding to stake their claim for the next lucrative franchise from the lands of children’s literature.
An avalanche of sequels, prequels and just plain freaky distortions of the original material looms just over the rainbow, including live action, CGI, stop-motion animation, classically adapted, steampunk renditions, dark takes and contemporary visitations. Nothing is sacred in the magical land of Oz anymore.
Warner Brothers just won a copyright infringement case on Oz-related merchandise that could give them the upper hand as these icons return to the screen. The ruling states that filmmakers who wish to create a new version of a literary work—even one in public domain—must be careful not to use copyrightable elements of characters that first appeared in protected motion picture versions of the works, meaning screenwriters and directors will have to craft their characters carefully without trading on previous renderings. Easier said than done, Dorothy.