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quietearth [Celluloid 06.06.08] movie news horror fantasy steampunk

Back in March we reported that Pras Michel of The Fugees, Aaron Denenberg, and Marjorie Jean had optioned the rights to Calibre Comics gothic take on the oz mythos in Dark Oz. Well, I'm happy to tell you that after seeing the world premier of Pearry's The Gene Generation, I got a chance to talk to him on what he was doing next and you'll love what he's got to say! Pearry will be directing Dark Oz, and, while not even in pre-production yet, the screenplay has already been written by Aaron Denenberg (who will also be producing) and the film has a budget of $40M in place.

Marjorie Jean is also set to produce and star in the role of "Scraps". Pearry told me that they will be using many elements from the original Wizard of Oz, specifically switching from B&W to color mid-film, and will also be pulling greatly from Return to Oz. Wow, maybe they can get Fairuza Balk back. Remember Tick Tock and the Gnome King? Yeah, they'll be back. Tin Man will also have a huge army, and guess what? It will be a STEAMPUNK ARMY! Pearry said that he wanted to do the technology in Dark Oz like writer L. Frank Baum would have seen it, and yes, that means heavy on the steampunk, mostly inspired by the work of Theo Jansen.

I asked if he was planning to do this all cgi and he said no, he wants to keep most of the forefront stuff real, with the background stuff cgi. While all of this sounds great, I asked how much of a horror or gothic element there was going to be to which he said the producers would only allow him to go as dark as Lord of The Rings. All that aside, he said "think Rocketeer meets Dark City", and on a side note, he's a huge Alex Proyas fan, going so far as to have a tattoo of The Crow on his back. We'll keep you updated folks. Special thanks to Pearry for letting me grill him!

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