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Tin Man

November 14, 2008

A couple of nights ago, I was flipping through the channels and The Wizard of Oz was on, right at the beginning. I’ve seen it several times, but usually I miss the beginning. So, I watched it… and then wound up watching the whole thing. Yeah, no big deal.

After I watched it though, I got to thinking, no one has really done a remake of this story, except for one Michael Jackson and Diana Ross did called the Wiz, which was really horrible. So, I’m thinking this would be awesome as not a musical, and with a dark, twisted, gritty feel to it. Sort of a Narnia meets Indiana Jones and the worlds of Tim Burton (nightmare before Christmas and Batman).  The story would be based on the original, but I’d really develop the characters and expand the story and fill in the gaps of the original. Not a man made of tin, which I always thought was pretty stupid anyway, but a tin man character, and not a lion of course nor a scarecrow, but characters based on them, each dealing with their respective deficiencies of courage, a heart and marbles.

I pictured Dorothy as tough tomboy type, with street sense and wit and stuck in a dead end job at the beginning. I had a couple of dreams about it and it started to develop in my head during day. I pictured the tin man as a leather wearing motorcycle riding kind of guy and reasons he might be called tin man and the evil that was dealt him that made him a man without a heart, and I was working on the others too. I envisioned the munchkins as warriors, kind of like Native Americans and I was even figuring out how to work in casual references to or lines from the original. Gotta pay the homage you know. This was really consuming a lot of my brain time.

I was all excited about this and was thinking this could be a neat writing project, just for grins, I don’t know what came over me. OK, I swear, this is the truth. tin-manI stopped at Blockbuster today and came across a video called Tin Man with a cover picture of a tomboy chick, a cowboy sheriff kind of guy, some creature that could have been the lion I suppose and a crazy looking guy in a tattered band uniform with a weird zipper head, all walking down what appeared to be a broken up ancient road of bricks. Oh what the hell?

Right then and there I felt such jubilation and anguish, both at once. It’s already been done. And I wanted to get it home right away and watch it. Man was I conflicted. I felt like I did back when I invented coffee bags 20 years ago. I spent a month on that project and even tested different ways to vacuum seal the bags. Then I walked into a store and saw coffee bags on the shelf. Seems like I’m always a day late and a dollar short.

neill-mcdSo, I took it home and watched it, and I really enjoyed it, blah, blah, blah. Turns out that DG, as she’s called, was the motorcycle rider. It’s crazy; everything I had dreamed about and thought about in my head all unfolded right before my eyes. Jeez, what a let down. But, the movie was really neat I thought, it was neat to see all the stuff I hadn’t thought of yet. It was completely re-imagined; I just wish it had been my imagination; almost. Apparently, it was a mini series on the Sci-Fi channel last year, it’s over five hours.

glitchNeil McDonough as Cain (Tin Man) and Alan Cumming as Glitch (Scarecrow) are awesome and Zooey Deschanel is OK as DG (Dorothy Gale).  The series does pay homage to the original on occasion in clever ways.  This one goes into who the wicked witch is and why she is so wicked.  Details are provided on everything and everyone else too including DG’s parents.

Oh well. I realize that I could be just overly excited about it because you know, it was my idea and all, so consider that with my recommendation to see it.  It was good.  I loaned the first DVD to my neighbor this evening and she just came over begging for the next one, so…. Get it.

Cheers,
Maggie Williams

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