Sam Raimi’s new film, Oz: The Great & Powerful, casts James Franco as the wonderful wizard and tells the story of how he first came to Emerald City. It’s just the latest among hundreds of adaptations of L. Frank Baum’s timeless novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Here are a few of the more intriguing variations from pop-culture history.BOOKS: Wicked: The Life & Times of the Wicked Witch of the West By Gregory Maguire (1995)
Maguire’s insightful novel — another prequel — shined an empathetic light on Elphaba’s (aka the future Wicked Witch of the West) early years. The Broadway adaptation won three Tony Awards.
BROADWAY: The Wiz (1975)
One of the first Broadway musicals with an all-black cast, The Wiz put an urban spin on Dorothy’s story. After winning seven Tonys, it was made into a 1978 film starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Richard Pryor.
FILM: The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz (2005)
With Kermit as the Scarecrow, Gonzo as the Tin Thing, Fozzie as the Cowardly Lion, Miss Piggy as Glinda the Good Witch and pop singer Ashanti as Dorothy Gale, this made-for-TV movie is arguably the weirdest adaptation on this list.
MUSIC: “Tin Man,” by America (1974)
Pop-rock band America scored its fourth Top 10 hit with this song inspired by Baum’s classic, with memorable lyrics such as, “Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn’t, didn’t already have.”
VIDEO GAMES: The Wizard of Oz (2012)
This Facebook game allows players to build the yellow-brick road, fight off the Wicked Witch and help Dorothy get to Emerald City. With music, video clips and voices from the 1939 film, it’s a surprisingly immersive entry in the Oz canon.