Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Kenya Barris' Modern Remake Of THE WIZARD OF OZ To Feature LGBTQ+ Representation And More

Barris' re-imagining of the classic musical will feature a culturally diverse cast, and address modern themes including race, class, gender, and sexuality.

As BroadwayWorld previously reported, Black-ish creator Kenya Barris will write and direct a re-imagined version of the Wizard of Oz.

Though details for the project remain scarce, according to a new report from Variety, Barris' re-imagining of the classic musical will feature a culturally diverse cast, and address modern themes including race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Barris said, "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...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."

As for taking on one of the most iconic films in history, Barris told Variety, ""I'm nervous. Hopefully, my movie can last as long as the original does."

Barris is most known as the creator of the popular television series Black-ish. He is currently in post-production for his film directorial debut, You People. Co-written with Jonah Hill, the new film stars Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Lauren London, Nia Long, David Duchovny, and more.

Barris revealed in 2020 that he wrote a full-length musical on the significance of Juneteenth with Pharell Williams. Williams will produce the new project for Netflix.

Barris is also attached to an upcoming film remake of White Men Can't Jump and an animated movie that was inspired by the musical work of Bob Marley.

The 1939 musical film adaptation of The Wizard of Oz is considered one of the best films ever made. Featuring songs like "Over the Rainbow," "We're Off to See the Wizard," "If I Only Had a Brain," and "Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead," the lauded adaptation was nominated for six Academy Awards and won two (up against another cinematic classic, "Gone With The Wind").

A stage musical based on the film premiered on the West End in 2011, with a book adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jeremy Sams. The musical toured the U.S. in 2013.

Another adaptation of L. Frank Baum's work, the novel "Wicked" by Gregory Maguire, was adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman into one of the most successful Broadway musicals in history. It opened in 2003, starring Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth.

TodayTix Black Friday

Related Stories
Photos: Go Inside the MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL Book Signing Photo
Baz Luhrmann, who co-wrote and directed the Award-winning Moulin Rouge! film, joined Moulin Rouge! The Musical original Broadway cast members Danny Burstein and Aaron Tveit with writer David Cote to sign copies of Moulin Rouge! The Musical: The Story of The Broadway Spectacular on Friday, December 2nd at 6:30 p.m. at the Rizzoli Bookstore at 1133 Broadway, NYC. Check out the photos here.

Video: The Company of AINT NO MO Hits The Red Carpet On Opening Night Photo
Last night, Ain't No Mo' officially celebrated its Broadway opening at the Belasco Theatre. BroadwayWorld was there for the big night, and you can check out video of the cast hitting the opening night red carpet below!

Russian Troops Attack Ukraines Theaters, Libraries & More Photo
Russian troops in Ukraine are attacking the country’s theaters, museums, libraries and other cultural institutions to erase Ukrainian culture, according to a report issued by the U.S. and Ukrainian chapters of the international writers’ organization PEN.

Photos: On the Opening Night Red Carpet of AINT NO MO Photo
See photos from the opening night red carpet of Ain't No Mo'! The cast includes Jordan E. Cooper as Peaches, Fedna Jacquet (Passenger #1), Marchánt Davis (Passenger #2), Shannon Matesky (Passenger #3), and more.


More Hot Stories For You


Suzan-Lori Parks' PLAYS FOR THE PLAGUE YEAR to Return to The Public in April 2023Suzan-Lori Parks' PLAYS FOR THE PLAGUE YEAR to Return to The Public in April 2023
December 2, 2022

After a truncated run as a result of several COVID-19 cases in the company, Suzan-Lori Parks’ theatrical concert PLAYS FOR THE PLAGUE YEAR will be returning for an engagement in The Public Theater's Joe’s Pub in April 2023.

Broadway Actor Quentin Oliver Lee Passes Away at 34Broadway Actor Quentin Oliver Lee Passes Away at 34
December 2, 2022

Broadway actor Quentin Oliver Lee, who most recently starred Off-Broadway in Heather Christian's Oratorio For Living Things, has passed away at age 34 from colon cancer. 

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Faces New Legal TroublesTO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Faces New Legal Troubles
December 2, 2022

In 2019 the producers of the Broadway adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird sought to prevent small theaters around the country from staging an earlier dramatization of the novel. Now, the publisher of the earlier adaptation of the novel is seeking the stop the Broadway version of To Kill a Mockingbird from being staged at a variety of venues.

A BEAUTIFUL NOISE, THE NEIL DIAMOND MUSICAL Cast Recording Available on CD TodayA BEAUTIFUL NOISE, THE NEIL DIAMOND MUSICAL Cast Recording Available on CD Today
December 2, 2022

The Original Broadway Cast Recording of A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical,  produced by Grammy Award winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bob Gaudio, is available today on CD.

Britney Spears Musical ONCE UPON A ONE MORE TIME Will Open on Broadway in Spring 2023Britney Spears Musical ONCE UPON A ONE MORE TIME Will Open on Broadway in Spring 2023
December 2, 2022

Once Upon A One More Time, powered by the music of Grammy Award-winning pop icon Britney Spears, will open on Broadway this summer at the Marquis Theatre in New York City. Helmed by internally acclaimed, Drama Desk-nominated Director & Choreographers Keone & Mari Madrid (Beyond Babel, Karate Kid), the musical begins previews Saturday, May 13, 2023, and celebrates its opening night on Thursday, June 22, 2023.