Warner Animation Group is developing an animated musical based on the Michael Morpurgo children’s book “Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz,” according to an individual with knowledge of the project.
“Aladdin” screenwriter John August wrote the script based on the HarperCollins book, which is described as an uplifting take on “The Wizard of Oz” that centers on Dorothy’s pet dog, Toto.
Alex Timbers, a veteran Broadway director who co-created and executive produced “Mozart in the Jungle,” is set to direct. Additionally, Derek Frey will produce, and Jared Stern is executive producing.
Along with “Aladdin,” August’s credits include “Big Fish,” “Dark Shadows,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and the first two “Charlie’s Angels” movies for Sony. August also wrote and directed fantasy film “The Nines,” which starred Ryan Reynolds. August is repped by Verve and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman.
Timbers’ credits include directing and executive producing “John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City” and “Ben Platt Live From Radio City Musical Hall.” Timbers is repped by WME and Anonymous Content. His Broadway directing credits include “The Pee-Wee Herman Show” and the musicals “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “Rocky” and “Moulin Rouge!”
On the animation front, earlier this year, Warner Animation Group pivoted “Scoob!” from a theatrical release to digital ownership and premium video-on-demand, making it the second film initially planned for theatrical release to jump straight to home release thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
Deadline first reported the news.