‘The Wizard of Oz’ And ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ Are Getting Remakes
There’s something special about classic stories and characters getting modern updates, with people of color standing in as the leads or in some cases the entire cast. The Christmas classic from 1946, It’s a Wonderful Life, is getting the remake treatment. Black-ish creator Kenya Barris confirmed remaking the beloved Christmas movie while promoting his biopic series about the comedian Richard Pryor.
Barris shared updates with Variety for two classic films that he plans on remaking. These include The Wizard of Oz and It’s a Wonderful Life. His version of Dorothy would be about a girl who lives in a huge apartment complex in Inglewood, California.
“The original Wizard of Oz took place during the Great Depression, and it was about self-reliance and what people were going through,” he told Variety. “I think this is the perfect time to switch the characters and talk about what someone imagines their life could be.”
Wait, what about The Wiz movie and musical?
It’s worth noting that another take on the classic The Wizard of Oz has already been done in 1978. It’s called The Wiz, starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. There’s also a Broadway musical inspired by the 1978 film. But who knows? This remake could have the same impact as Halle Bailey playing Ariel in The Little Mermaid.
He also made mention of remaking It’s a Wonderful Life at Paramount and plans to center the story around a person of color. He said he believes the story in Frank Capra’s 1946 film starring James “Jimmy” Stewart is “tailor-made” for a POC perspective.
Frank Capra directed and produced It’s a Wonderful Life, which is set on Christmas Eve and stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man facing challenges. When contemplating suicide, Bailey’s guardian angel, Clarence (Henry Travers), shows him a world without his existence. Recognizing his positive impact on others, Bailey pleads for a second chance at life.
Barris might not be a familiar name to some, but he’s known for creating Black-ish, and has written for shows like Girlfriends and movies like Coming 2 America, You People, and the 2022 remake of Cheaper by the Dozen.
No cast or crew information has been released. Here’s hoping more info drops soon.