During a panel discussion at San Diego Comic-Con, filmmaker Justin Simien expressed his strong desire to direct a remake of the 1978 musical film, The Wiz. Simien, known for his work on Dear White People, revealed that The Wiz was the first movie he ever saw and that it had a profound impact on him. He explained that as a child, he didn’t understand why there was a white version of The Wizard of Oz when The Wiz already existed as a Black-centric universe with Quincy Jones music.
Simien’s vision for a remake of The Wiz would stay true to the original concept, creating a Black-centric universe with updated music and a modern twist. However, he acknowledged that the possibility of directing the remake is unlikely at the moment due to the upcoming release of the Wicked movie, which is also based on The Wizard of Oz.
Gareth Edwards, director of The Creator, and Louis Leterrier, director of Fast X, also shared their dream projects during the panel. Edwards hinted at an undisclosed IP that he plans to work on, while Leterrier expressed his interest in adapting the popular video game Fortnite into a movie.
The panel discussion also touched on the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) in filmmaking. The directors agreed that while AI can be a useful tool, it should not replace artists or actors. They emphasized the importance of human storytelling and the need to protect artists whose work may be incorporated into AI models.
Overall, the panel provided insights into the creative aspirations and concerns of these talented filmmakers. While Simien’s dream of directing a remake of The Wiz may not be realized in the near future, his passion for the project is evident, and fans can hope that one day his vision will come to fruition.