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Kenya Barris Says ‘Wizard of Oz’ Remake Will Include LGBTQ Representation to ‘Reflect the World’

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Marc Malkin Senior Film Awards, Events & Lifestyle Editor Welcome to this week’s “Just for Variety.” Somewhere over the rainbow, indeed! Kenya Barris tells me that LGBTQ representation will be featured in his “Wizard of Oz” remake. “The original was an allegory and a reflection of the way the world was at the time with things like the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl,” says Barris, who will write and direct the reimagining for Warner Bros. “Now we’re going to turn a mirror on where we’re at right now and take disparate characters from the LGBTQ community, from different cultural communities and socioeconomic communities, and tell a story that reflects the world.

I think this is the best time to do that.” He understands a “Wizard of Oz” remake comes with tremendous pressure. “I’m nervous,” Barris tells me. “Hopefully, my movie can last as long as the original does.” He adds with a laugh: “Hopefully my movie comes out.” Another “Wizard of Oz” remake is also in the works at New Line Cinema with Nicole Kassell (“Watchmen”) directing. Ismael Cruz Córdova is thinking about his next step after his breakout role as an elf in Amazon Prime’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” The actor tells me he wants to play Marvel superhero Hector Ayala/White Tiger. “I love the story that is set in the ’70s in East New York,” Córdova tells me. “It’s a stand-alone… It’s badass.

He redeems himself. It’s got everything.” And Córdova already has the stunt work down. He says he trained for about eight months for a three-minute action sequence in the third “Rings of Power” episode: “There’s a bunch of martial arts and all of the wire work — everything you see on-screen is me.” Kelly Rowland wasn’t aware that Beyoncé would be

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