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The Witches of Oz

Director Leigh Scott, an alumni of Asylum Pictures, has gone the independent route with The Witches of Oz, and this is a look at the film via a behind the scenes trailer and an interview with Scott conducted by imdb.com.
Official Summary: "The Witches of Oz follows the exploits of the grown Dorothy Gale, now a successful children's book author, as she moves from Kansas to present day New York City. Dorothy quickly learns that her popular books are based on repressed childhood memories, and that the wonders of Oz are very, very real. When the Wicked Witch of the West shows up in Times Square, Dorothy must find the inner courage to stop her."

In the imdb.com interview, Scott reflected on the origin of the concept:

"About four years ago everybody in Hollywood was buying up these lame "tween" books looking for the next Harry Potter. At about the same time I was charged with finding public domain stuff at the Asylum. When I discovered that the Wizard of Oz was available, I pitched it to them. They were afraid of it because it was such a well known property and at the time horror stuff was still the rage. Plus, it just sounds expensive, and now having done it, they were right!

"I read it all and watched it all. The books are really weird. They're written for little kids, but the concepts and ideas are really adult and creepy. As for the movies, I think RETURN TO OZ is pretty underrated. Every film about Oz has to live in the shadow of the 1939 film which isn't just the definitive Oz movie, it's one of the most iconic films in history. We decided, unlike the 1985 Oz film, to incorporate the musical into our film through subtle references and a few bigger elements of the production design, creature design, wardrobe etc."

Playing Dorothy is actress Paulie Rojas, who, says Scott, "has this sort of Audrey Hepburn thing going on which was key. We needed somebody who just looked innocent and had a sort of etherial, classic beauty. From the first time she shows up in the film you know that she's the good guy and you're rooting for her. It was important to cast someone who could hold their own opposite Eliza Swenson who plays Dorothy's big city best friend. Eliza has such a va va va voom look that we needed balance, but still needed somebody beautiful and able to act the wide range of emotions that the character goes through."

The film also stars Lance Henriksen and Christopher Lloyd.

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EdGross
6/29/2010

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