Dorothy definitely won’t be in Kansas anymore!
According to Barris, the script for his modern take on The Wizard of Oz is complete. This fresh perspective places Dorothy in the Bottoms, a large apartment complex in Inglewood, California. Barris sees this adaptation as timely–with a shift in focus from the Great Depression–to explore themes of self-reliance and the pursuit of imagined possibilities.
“The original Wizard of Oz took place during the Great Depression, and it was about self-reliance and what people were going through,” Barris explained. “I think this is the perfect time to switch the characters and talk about what someone imagines their life could be.”
In Barris’s vision, the story becomes a hero’s journey, with a central theme of realizing that one’s current situation is where they belong. He aims to instill pride and happiness about one’s origins while inviting the world to take a closer look at Inglewood.
“I want people to be proud and happy about where they’re from. But I want the world to take a look at it, and I hope that will come through,” Barris expressed.
Although Barris did not provide a timeline for the Wizard of Oz project, the prospect of reimagining a classic tale from a different cultural perspective adds a layer of anticipation. As Barris continues to bring diverse narratives to the forefront, fans can expect a unique and thought-provoking take on this beloved story.
Cover Photo: Rachel Ghiazza and Kenya Barris at Variety x Audible Cocktails and Conversations / Photo Credit: Katie Jones, Variety for Audible