Ding Dong: A Hip-Hop 'Oz'
“The Wizard of Oz” just keeps on jiving down that Yellow Brick Road. Sometime in 2001, Fox plans to mount a contemporary, hip-hop TV movie version of author L. Frank Baum’s wonderful fantasy, reveals the Hollywood Reporter. The new occupants of Oz are expected to be Queen Latifah (good witch Glenda), Busta Rhymes (Cowardly Lion), Little Richard (the Wizard), Patti LaBelle (Wicked Witch) and rapper Ginuwine (Scarecrow). Dorothy and the Tin Man have yet to be cast. (Broadway’s 1974 “The Wiz” gave a new beat to the old classic, and that version was adapted into a flat 1978 movie version with Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.) Tentatively titled “The O.Z.,” the new TV take will reportedly find Dorothy as a hip-hop music producer — not in Kansas, but in L.A. When a quake jolts the town, she and her dog Toto (no word on casting there, either) find themselves in a place called the Big O.Z. Among its inhabitants: evil flying monkeys, played by members of rap group IMX.