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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

can you spot the bullshit in this description of Timur Bekmambetov’s Warriors of Oz?

From Deadline:

EXCLUSIVE: Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter director Timur Bekmambetov is venturing into television with Warriors Of Oz, a mini-series project which has landed at Syfy. Bekmambetov will create Warriors Of Oz based on his idea. It is a fantasy-action reimagining of the classic story in which a warrior from present day Earth is transported to a post-apocalyptic future Oz where he must team up with three other warriors, Heartless, Brainless, and Coward, in order to defeat the evil Wizard who has enslaved the land.

Did you spot the bullshit? Here’s the excerpt again with the bullshit highlighted:

EXCLUSIVE: Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter director Timur Bekmambetov is venturing into television with Warriors Of Oz, a mini-series project which has landed at Syfy. Bekmambetov will create Warriors Of Oz based on his idea. It is a fantasy-action reimagining of the classic story in which a warrior from present day Earth is transported to a post-apocalyptic future Oz where he must team up with three other warriors, Heartless, Brainless, and Coward, in order to defeat the evil Wizard who has enslaved the land.

He. He. Dorothy Gale has gotten a sex change. Because women can’t be warriors.

At least Oz the Great and Powerful had the faux grace to be about a different character who just so happens to be a dude when it told kinda-sorta the same story as The Wizard of Oz.

But this is just a slap in the face.

I’m going to call this “dick-washing.” The female protagonist has been scrubbed from this “classic story.” Why, Bekmambetov? You got a problem with women?


  • It may be a combination of that and an inability to write women characters. And the people who signed off on this probably don’t understand womenfolk either and thought to gender-swap to make production easier.

    Will I be watching this? No.

  • The screenwriter hasn’t even been found yet. So it’s nothing to do with inability… except the inability of Bekmambetov to imagine a female warrior.

  • GibsonGirl99

    “I’m going to call this “dick-washing.” The female protagonist has been
    scrubbed from this “classic story.” ”
    I nominate ‘dick-washing’ for feminist media buzzword construct of the year!

  • Danielm80

    My mind works in very strange ways. All this talk about gender-swapping makes me picture a very different series. I imagine that the Tin Man could swap out body parts if he wanted to, so that he’d look like the female robot from Metropolis.

    I would much rather watch that show than Warriors of Oz.

  • Well, I’m sure whoever they find will probably be in service of his “vision,” and he probably won’t get too progressive of a writer on something like this either. Really, the whole thing is as you say, an inability to imagine and envision a strong, female warrior.

  • Danny Bowes

    “Dick-washing” is THE neologism of 2013.

  • Erin Treat

    This is disgusting. Baum was a feminist. Give me a break. They cancelled Warehouse 13 for this crap?

  • FormerlyKnownAsBill

    well, brainless, heartless, and coward are obviously masculine. the main character should match. this is beyond dispute.

  • RogerBW

    Oh, what this could have been. (Still garbage, but it might have been enjoyable garbage.)

    “My name is Gale, Dorothy, Gunnery Sergeant, US Marine Corps, 14775482. Remember, we’re not in Kansas any more… so use short, controlled bursts.”

  • Jonathan Roth

    I’m reminded of an ancient version of the Wizard of Oz cartoon on TV where Rusty the tin-man heartless, Socrates the scarecrow an idiot, and Dandy the lion an abject coward.

    Struck me as wrong even back then.

  • No no, you don’t understand. Dorothy will be in it. The warrior has to rescue her from the Wizard. Obviously.

  • Danielm80

    And she’ll look like the main character in this comic book:

    http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/9/5/1/2/7/4/webimg/682083567_o.jpg

  • Ah, dammit. You’re right.

  • J Riddell

    But…..but they already made this mini-series!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_Man_(TV_miniseries)

    Dammit, SyFy.

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