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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

dream cast: hypothetical ‘Wizard of Oz’ remake

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to remake an 80s classic TV show or movie with an all-new cast. This week I’m stretching the theme a bit to include the classic 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, which exerted a profound effect on the mindset of Generation X via its constant airings on TV in the 1970s and 80s, particularly as a Thanksgiving tradition. (In my review of the film, I mention it as a holiday perennial.)

(If you have a suggestion for an 80s TV show or movie we should play with, feel free to email me.)
The original cast included:

Dorothy Gale: Judy Garland
The Wizard of Oz: Frank Morgan
The Scarecrow: Ray Bolger
The Cowardly Lion: Bert Lahr
The Tin Man: Jack Haley
Glinda: Billie Burke
The Wicked Witch: Margaret Hamilton

My dream cast for a modern update:

Daniel Gale: Michael Cera
The Wizard of Oz: Mos Def
The Scarecrow: Jude Law
The Cowardly Lion: Will Farrell
The Tin Man: Keanu Reeves
Glinda: Kate Winslet
The Wicked Wizard: Alan Rickman

I’m gender-switching Dorothy because I love Michael Cera, and because he has the kind of sweetness that feels more like Dorothy’s than almost any female actor of his age I can think of off the top of my head. (Plus, after Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, I could see him wandering Oz with a guitar slung over his back, ready to strum out a mournful, homesick tune as needed.) And something tells me Alan Rickman would be simply awesome as a bad wizard.

Other modern updating: instead of a storm, Daniel could get knocked out during a terrorist attack, or could fall asleep at his computer à la Neo, or maybe he’s just dreaming while wearing his iPod on the school bus…

Who would you cast?

Follow the yellow brick road:

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