It seems nothing is safe in Hollywood, not even seminal masterworks like The Wizard of Oz, as Warner Bros. has just announced that they plan to re-release the 73-year-old classic (and its little dog too) with an added dimension next year.
From a standpoint of pure curiosity, it may be interesting to see the results of having a film from 1939 presented in 3D as up until now the oldest post-production conversion was 1991’s Beauty and the Beast from earlier this year, though that, of course, is an animated feature and is something very different from a live action attempt.
Plans are already in motion to convert the remaining Star Wars films (1977 onward), Rear Window (1954), which is unofficially planned for sometime this fall, Top Gun (1986) and Jurassic Park (1993).
Warner Bros. chalks up this re-release to the unveiling of its “Anniversary initiative” which includes the release of seven new classic collections – The Jazz Singer, Grand Hotel, Driving Miss Daisy among others – including two limited and numbered anniversary collections totalling 100 films on DVD and 50 on Blu-ray.
It’s great to see that these films will all be available in polished form but a 3D release of The Wizard of Oz seems decidedly at odds with the whole idea of opening the vault making vintage Hollywood available. I mean, what better way to celebrate works from some of the world’s greatest filmmakers than cheaply slapping an extra dimension on a groundbreaking opus.
You can read the entire statement from Warner Bros. below.
Burbank, Calif., October 3, 2012 — One of the most respected, diversified and successful motion picture studios in the world, Warner Bros. began when the eponymous brothers – Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack — incorporated on April 4, 1923. Four years later, the release of The Jazz Singer, the world’s first “talkie,” set a tone of innovation and influence that would forever become synonymous with the Warner Bros. brand. Soon to be 90, Warner Bros. continues to entertain the world with films passionately produced, selectively acquired, carefully preserved and impeccably curated for both the casual and ultimate movie lover to enjoy forever.
As a result of all the films the studio has produced, co-produced (with numerous partners), acquired and distributed, Warner Bros. now boasts the largest film library in the world – 6,800 feature films, with 2,000 films currently available on DVD and Blu-ray™. The library includes 22 Academy Award®*-winning Best Pictures (the most in Oscar® history), and leading franchises such as Harry Potter™, Batman™, Lord of the Rings™, The Matrix and Superman™.
Beginning in January, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group (WBHEG) will launch a major Anniversary initiative that will continue through year-end 2013. This includes the release of seven new collections, including two limited and numbered anniversary collections — 100 films on DVD and 50 films on Blu-ray™, both the largest collections ever released, to date, in their respective formats. The year-long celebration will also include several stand-alone releases of new-to-format classics on Blu-ray™ for the first time, including The Jazz Singer, all three James Dean films (East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, Giant), Cabaret and Academy Award® Best Picture Winners Grand Hotel (1932), Mrs. Miniver (1943), and Driving Miss Daisy(1990).
(Source: The Film Stage)