Mike Johnson Launches Oz Wars

Corpse Bride co-director starts a fight

Mike Johnson Launches Oz Wars

by James White |
Published on

Everyone and their directing uncle, it would appear, is ready to step on the Wizard of Oz** remix bandwagon (or should that be twister?) The latest filmmaker taking a stab at Dorothy and co is Mike Johnson, who is crafting the stop-motion-animated **Oz Wars **for Vanguard Films.

Johnson, who has some history with stop-motion, having worked on The Nightmare Before Christmas and** James and the Giant Peach** as an animation tech before graduating to co-direct Corpse Bride with Tim Burton, is working from a script by Space Chimps writer Rob Moreland and Athena Gam.

**Oz Wars **will bring a darker shade to the traditional Frank L Baum narrative, with Dorothy encountering warrior witches, black magic and monsters.

"It is an animated action-adventure story, but unlike most animated films, it's not just for kids," Johnson tells Variety. "The Land of Oz will be reimagined using stop-motion to create a world that's dark, slick, sexy and dangerous." Dude… You’re an animation director. You do know that there are plenty of films in the medium not designed solely for kids, right? And perhaps after the less-than-blockbusting release of 2007’s Happily N’Ever After, Vanguard should be focused on ‘toons that any cinemagoers actually want to see…

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