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This article is about a cancelled project that was in production by Tim Burton. For the novel of the same title, see Lost in Oz. Not to be confused with a 2002 series pilot of the same name that was also unrealized nor the Amazon series.
Tim Burton's Lost in Oz was a never produced Oz television series that was being made by filmmaker Tim Burton who was a writer alongside Trey Callaway, Michael Kateleman, and Joel T. Smith.
It would have been based on a group of contemporary young people who are swept to the Land of Oz--only to find that Ozma and the Wizard are mysteriously missing. It is believed that key scenes were filmed, but they have yet to be public.

Cast

(as confirmed by the IMDB page)

  • Christine Lakin as Jade: a cheerleader who goes to Oz
  • Scott L. Schwartz: Town Crier (likely of the Munchkins)
  • Samantha Nagel as the Wicked Witch
  • Phillip Geoffrey Hough as Theo Alred
  • Erika Flores as Kimber Denslow
  • Terrence 'T.C.' Carson as Vance McCarver
  • Michael Horse as Ponca
  • Anna Galvin as Miss Puritan, an English teacher



Plot

An article published on "Aintitcool.com" that was from 1999 gave much information about the intended plot which reveals a pilot was at least written if not filmed:

"To begin with, the story is set in current time, our time at a quaint little gas station, called the EMERALD CITY GAS & OIL, in the cornfields of Kansas. Here we meet a rather tired old native-American station attendant named PONCA, 43, who doesn't see much action around these parts - YET, and lives just round back in an old Winnebago. The station isn't so much a fully functioning station as it is a little tourist spot for passerby's to get gas, and such collectable trinkets as "flying monkey fridge magnets", "toto pencil sharpeners" "tin man toothpick dispensers" & "Auntie Em's muffins".

On another part of the spectrum, at Cawker High, we are introduced to a Comparative Literature class, full of kids, being taught by MISS NANCY PURINTON, 32,whose in the midst of reading aloud from a textbook to a bunch of bored students.

Inside this class, are JADE WELLING, 17, beautiful, cheerleader-type, and THEO ALRED, 16, whose madly, secretly, infatuated with Jade and her good looks. The two are somewhat opposites each a bit antagonistic with one another.

Today's a special day, as after school, the class has agreed to take field trip to a local book museum in lieu of taking a final exam.

That then takes us to a Corvette being driven down a two-lane highway, by the cool, free-wheeling VANCE MCCARVER, 29, whose currently in the middle of lecturing his younger brother, Vince on the greater evils of marrying his girlfriend, and throwing his life away. Vance suggests going to Vegas as a test and if within 48 hours he still feels the same way about her, he'll be his best man and give them both his blessings.

Alongside the highway, they speed past KIMBER DENSLOW, 17, who's described as an "anti-dorthy of sorts" because of her piercings, dyed hair and such. She's hitchhiking alone to "wherever" and gets a quick lift from a trucker passing by.

So this sets-up and introduces us to the series regular characters from the script listing. All strangers taking different path but ultimately converging down the same road together as they all meet by way of The Emerald Gas & Oil, where as luck would have they run smack dab into a wicked black tornado that's headed their way, and quick.

Because of their situations, they all find and make quick shelter with Ponca in his winnebago, but soon enough does the tornado take it and within a surreal moment, it vanishes from the sky, leaving everything else behind but the 'Bago and it's reluctant passengers.

When our travelers awake, they find themselves in the magical, mystical, bizarre world of "OZ", where through their differences, they must find a way to work together to find their way back home.

The imagery described within the pages, and the strange inhabitants of the world of OZ, just have to be seen to believe. It sounds VERY neat with a lot of strange, somewhat psychedelic eye-candy, and various areas into the land of OZ to be explored in each episode (the scripts even has two full maps included to help visualize the scope of OZ).

In the pilot episode the characters are told to find the yellow brick road which will then lead them to Emerald City. They figure once there, they can find the Wizard, explain their situation, and have him help send them back home. But alas, it's not so easy, as their arrival into Oz has coincided with the sudden disappearance of the Wizard, and without him, the entire kingdom is slowly creeping into chaos. Adding to that, no one in or outside of Oz has EVER seen the Wizard, which makes the task at hand all the more difficult.

The pilot is outstanding in it's setup of what I hope is to be a well-made, produced and long-running series to come. "

Trivia

  • Anna Galvin would later play as Cruella DeVil's mother on Once Upon a Time which has had its own Oz storylines.
  • The second attempt to create a television series called "Lost in Oz" came only two years later, a book series with a similar premise of teenagers in Oz came in 2007, and Amazon.com released a pilot in 2015 for an animated series with more episodes following in 2017.

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