EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has just hired Kenya Barris to write and direct Wizard of Oz, a remake of the fantasy classic, with his Khalabo Ink Society producing.
We all know the story from the 1939 film, but Barris keeps the creative details close to the vest. It will be a modern reinterpretation of the legendary musical. His deal was finalized last week. Sheila Walcott oversees the studio.
The deal comes while the Black-ish creator is in post-production on his directorial debut feature, You People. Barris and Jonah Hill co-wrote the original comedy, with an amazing cast that includes Hill, Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lauren London, Nia Long, and David Duchovny, among others.
Next month, Barris will launch Entergalatic, a televised event he co-developed with Kid Cudi. Inspired by the Grammy winner’s forthcoming album of the same name, the first project of its kind combines adult animation, music, fashion and art to tell a story about modern-day black love in New York City.
Barris has focused more on features, including Girls Trip and Coming 2 America. Upcoming is a remake of the sports comedy White Men Can’t Jump; a feature film about comedic icon Richard Pryor, directed and produced by Barris; an animated film inspired by the songs and music of Bob Marley; and a feature-length musical about Juneteenth, which he co-produced with Pharrell Williams. Barris has also expanded into podcasts and music (with the launch of his label, Khalabo Music last year), as well as studio ownership with BET Studios. He is a main partner of BET Studios.
Barris is represented by CAA, Artists First and attorney Gregg Gellman.