DISPATCHES FROM FRIENDS OF DOROTHY: Kenya Barris Says Wizard of Oz Remake Will Include LGBTQ Representation to ‘Reflect the World.’

Somewhere over the rainbow, indeed! Kenya Barris tells me that LGBTQ representation will be featured in his “Wizard of Oz” remake. “The original was an allegory and a reflection of the way the world was at the time with things like the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl,” says Barris, who will write and direct the reimagining for Warner Bros. “Now we’re going to turn a mirror on where we’re at right now and take disparate characters from the LGBTQ community, from different cultural communities and socioeconomic communities, and tell a story that reflects the world. I think this is the best time to do that.”

He understands a “Wizard of Oz” remake comes with tremendous pressure. “I’m nervous,” Barris tells me. “Hopefully, my movie can last as long as the original does.” He adds with a laugh: “Hopefully my movie comes out.”

Another “Wizard of Oz” remake is also in the works at New Line Cinema with Nicole Kassell (“Watchmen”) directing.

Barris’ list of recent scripts and projects in development at IMDB include a slew of remakes and sequels:

  • Uptown Saturday Night
  • White Men Can’t Jump
  • Cheaper by the Dozen
  • Coming 2 America
  • Shaft

In his latest video, discussing Disney’s current obsession with memberberries, the Critical Drinker shouts, “Enough with the Remakes!” (NSFW language warning.)