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'It’s a Wonderful Life' and 'Wizard of Oz' to get 'diverse' reboots for people who 'hadn't felt seen'
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'It’s a Wonderful Life' and 'Wizard of Oz' to get 'diverse' reboots for people who 'hadn't felt seen'

A pair of Hollywood's most iconic classic films will be undergoing "diverse" reboots at the hands of Hollywood writer Kenya Barris, who has planned to change main characters to a "person a color."

Barris has written or directed many race-centric titles since 2020, including TV shows "#BlackAF" and "Black-ish" and films "You People" and the remake of "White Men Can't Jump."

Barris' next ventures are reportedly a reimagining of two industry classics: "The Wizard of Oz" and "It's a Wonderful Life."

The Oz movie will utilize a completely different setting and take place in an apartment complex in Inglewood, California, called the Bottoms, where the new Dorothy will live.

"The original ‘Wizard of Oz’ took place during the Great Depression, and it was about self-reliance and what people were going through," Barris told Variety. "I think this is the perfect time to switch the characters and talk about what someone imagines their life could be."

The writer also told talk-show host Jimmy Fallon about his plans to purposely cast the move with "diverse" characters.

"I think that this is the best time to turn a mirror on society because we need to see ourselves, and I want to do it with diverse characters," he said to Fallon. "The character lives in Inglewood, and someone comes up and she ends up in Underhood, which is right outside of Oz, and it takes place from there."

"I wanted to make people think, but also make them feel good, and also make people feel seen who hadn't felt seen," Barris added.

The director will also take on a reboot of the 1946 Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life" starring Jimmy Stewart. Barris explained that the movie's plot is a perfect story to be portrayed by an actor who has "black or brown" skin.

"I feel like Christmas movies are amazing, and I think the idea of taking something that has that long of a history and a tale behind it and putting an amazing piece of talent to tell that story," Barris explained.

"It’s a guy who’s trying to help out his community and things are going to turn around on him. I think that’s the perfect story to tell for a person of color — black or brown — to get into that because our communities have some issues and someone trying to help that community out. I think that’s the perfect vehicle to tell that story from."

The 50-year-old went on to mention that he has received criticism for using others' intellectual property, but he believed that certain stories should be told "again and again and again."

He called doing remakes of classic films a "gift" and one that he hopes he keeps getting.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.

@andrewsaystv →