'Wizard of Oz' new releases, spinoffs

Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion, Ray Bolger

Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion, Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow, Judy Garland as Dorothy and Jack Haley as the Tin Man in a scene from 1939's "The Wizard of Oz." Photo Credit: AP

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We're off to see the wizard, the wonderful "Wizard of Oz" when the classic 1939 musical fantasy gets the IMAX and 3-D treatment at theaters in Westbury, Deer Park and Stony Brook for a one-week engagement starting Friday. Consider this the first of many trips -- and strange turns -- down the Yellow Brick Road in celebration of the movie's upcoming 75th anniversary.

THE MERRY OLD LAND OF OZ On Oct. 1, Warner Home Video will release a five-disc 75th-anniversary edition of "Oz" on Blu-ray with plenty to make fans happy. The set includes Blu-ray 3-D, Blu-ray, DVD and UltraViolet versions of the movie, a making-of documentary and numerous featurettes, plus such goodies as a ruby slippers sparkle globe and a framable map of Oz.

WE'RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE Four TV projects are in development with ties to "Oz." The CW is in talks with Tim Kring, Adam Armus and Nora Kay Foster, the creative team behind "Heroes," to develop "Dorothy Must Die," a present-day tale that imagines a power-hungry Dorothy ruling over a war-torn Oz. CBS' "Dorothy" is being described as a medical soap that will "lift characters and themes" from L. Frank Baum's "Oz" stories. NBC's "Emerald City" is being called a "dark reimagining of the classic tale of 'Oz' in the vein of 'Game of Thrones.' " And in Syfy's miniseries "Warriors of Oz," a present day Earthling is transported to a post-apocalyptic future Oz, where he teams up with three other warriors, Heartless, Brainless and Coward, to defeat the evil Wizard.

AND TOTO, TOO Every dog has its day, and Toto gets hers (yes, Terry, the dog who appeared in "Oz" was a female) in "I, Toto," a charming 2001 "autobiography" that's being reissued Sept. 24 by Abrams Image with a handsome new cover. Terry speaks (thanks to author Willard Carroll) about meeting Judy Garland ("a bit older than I had pictured the character . . . but, golly, she was lovely"), working at MGM ("There was a favorite bush of mine behind which I always ducked on my way to auditions") and working on other films with Shirley Temple and Spencer Tracy. Woof!

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