Kenya Barris may have another Hollywood hit on his hands.
The LA-born creative has recently signed on to write and direct a Wizard of Oz remake by Warner Bros, according to Deadline. Barris’ company, Khalabo Ink Society, will be producing a reimagining of the childhood classic, which is based on L. Frank Baum’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and is most famous for its classic 1939 musical adaptation starring Judy Garland as it follows Dorothy, a Kansas farm girl who is swept away by a tornado and finds herself in the theatrical Land of Oz.
Barris is keeping much of the details regarding the big assignment under wraps. Still, it’s been revealed that the deal was finalized last week, and Sheila Walcott, Warner Bros’ VP of Creative Development, will oversee the project.
Many may not initially connect Barris to sitting in the director’s seat, but he’s recently wrapped his directorial debut for Netflix’s You People.
“Follow a new couple and their families, who find themselves examining modern love and family dynamics amidst clashing cultures, societal expectations, and generational differences,” reads the movie synopsis, which is set to star Eddie Murphy, Jonah Hill, and David Duchovny.
The 48-year-old has been leaning into remakes, including writing the comedy Girls Trip back in 2017 and Coming 2 America in 2021. He’ll also be working on a remake of sports comedy White Men Can’t Jump with a musically star-studded cast in Teyana Taylor and Jack Harlow.
He’s also getting into other genres like a feature film on legendary comedian Richard Pryor, for which he’s particularly excited.
“The w“y Pryor did what he did — with truth and specificity that was somehow self-aware and self-deprecating, and said with an unmatched level of vulnerability – that was the power and impact of his work,” Barr”s said in a statement in 2020. “Pryor“had a voice that was distinctly his, and, in many ways, comedy since then has been derivative of what he created. To me, this is a film about that voice, the journey that shaped it, and what it took for it to come to be.”
Barr”s is best known for Black-ish and its spinoffs Grown-Ish and Mixed-ish, but has long been in the industry with writing credits on Girlfriends, Soul Food, and co-creating America’s Top Model alongside Tyra Banks.